Retail cannabis facility submits permit application in Manchester | Business

MANCHESTER — The Planning and Zoning Commission has recently received an application requesting a special exception for a recreational cannabis retail facility at 101 Hale Road.

The application is the first to be submitted to a north-central Connecticut town. It was submitted for Fine Fettle Dispensary, a Hartford company.

The dispensary will be located in a retail building measuring 20,550 square feet in the Comprehensive Urban Development zone, less than one mile from The Shoppes of Buckland Hills. Other tenants at the property include Petco, FASTSIGNS, and Leslie’s Pool Supplies.

In 2008, Sard Realty I LLC purchased the property for $7.3million.

Fine Fettle Dispensary operates five locations across Connecticut and Massachusetts. All three Connecticut stores — in Newington,  Stamford, and Willimantic — are medical dispensaries. The two remaining Massachusetts stores are hybrid retailers, selling both medical and recreational marijuana.

Connecticut legalized adult use cannabis last year. However, recreational cannabis retail sales are still not allowed. Kaitlyn Krasselt, spokeswoman for the state Department of Consumer Protection said that they are currently issuing licenses for these facilities and expect sales to begin by year’s end.

Megan Pilla, Manchester Senior Planner said that the special exemption application is only for recreational marijuana sales. If granted a special exception, Fine Fettle Dispensary’s Manchester branch would not be allowed to open until its owner receives a license from the state.

Pilla stated that she believes the applicant is “shooting to have the local approval in place so that if they successfully get a state license they will be ready to roll.”

Local towns have been discussing the possibility of allowing recreational or hybrid cannabis retailers after the state has approved them. In December 2021, Manchester’s PZC adopted zoning regulations that permit cannabis retailers and cultivators to operate in certain zones.

PZC members agreed that adding cannabis retailers and cultivators wouldn’t pose a threat to the community. They called the new regulations a good compromise between public safety, economic opportunity, and public health.

The application is being reviewed by the Town staff. A meeting for the PZC to discuss the application has not been scheduled.

The dispensary’s hours of operation would be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, according to the application.

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