February 23, 2018

Hartford bakers propose medical marijuana dispensary zone in Wethersfield

PHOTO | Theraplant LLC
PHOTO | Theraplant LLC
Medical marijuana.

Two members of the Mozzicato family, well-known for their Italian bakeries in Plainville and Hartford, are seeking permission to allow medical marijuana dispensing in the town of Wethersfield.

Rino and Gina Mozzicato, who are sibling part-owners of RM Realty LLC, and belong to the family that owns the Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery & Pastry Shop, have applied for an amendment to zoning rules in the town of Wethersfield that would allow dispensaries in the center of town.

It's unclear if the Mozzicatos, who own property in the town center, plan to open a dispensary if the amendment were approved. They could not be reached for comment.

The proposed amendment would allow the dispensaries only by special permit, in the town center, and at least 1,000 feet from schools or places of worship. A public hearing will be held March 6, said Peter Gillespie, the town's director of planning and economic development.

Wethersfield zoning laws currently prohibit the dispensaries, Gillespie said.

The application to amend the zoning laws comes at a time when the state of Connecticut is seeking to license more medical marijuana dispensaries. In January, the Department of Consumer Protection said it was soliciting applications for at least three new licenses for dispensaries and hoped to make decisions in the spring.

The Planning and Zoning Commission considered a similar application in 2014 and that developer tried to argue the dispensary was "no different than a CVS or Rite Aid," Gillespie said. "We did not agree with that. There were all sorts of concerns about crime and public safety."

Gillespie said the state has more experience with dispensaries since that time. There are nine across Connecticut, including in Hartford and South Windsor, as well as at the shoreline, he said.

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