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July 10, 2024

After approval of Waterbury retail marijuana operation, company seeks OK for cannabis manufacturing

COSTAR 53 Interstate Lane, Waterbury

A Missouri-based company recently approved to open a recreational cannabis shop in Waterbury is now seeking zoning changes to allow an associated multimillion-dollar marijuana products manufacturing operation.

In April, Waterbury’s Zoning Commission signed off on a special permit for a retail cannabis shop run by Missouri-based Shangri-La, in leased space at 53 Interstate Lane.  

In an application submitted in June, Shangri-La is seeking zoning changes that would allow for “cannabis product manufacturing and cannabis food and beverage manufacturing” in Waterbury. Under the proposal, cannabis manufacturing would be allowed by right, so long as it an accessory use run on the same property as retail establishments dispensing medical and/or recreational cannabis products, which have received special permits from the city’s Zoning Commission.

That would keep cannabis product manufacturing within industrial zones, according to Shangri-La’s application. The company’s application stresses that manufacturing does not include growing and harvesting the cannabis plant, but rather the creation of products using material imported into the production facility.

Shangri-La CEO Nevil Patel said the company would invest around $3 million to establish the new Waterbury dispensary and the hoped-for manufacturing facility, using funds raised from investors. The company expects to hire 50 to 60 employees for the two Waterbury operations, Patel said, with pay ranging from $19 to $40 per hour, depending on position. 

Patel said the retail operation will occupy about 4,000 square feet at 53 Interstate Lane, with manufacturing expected to occupy about another 10,000 in the same building.

The location is attractive because Waterbury is a centrally located manufacturing hub close to the commercial corridor, Patel said. This makes it easy for customers living in and around Waterbury to access the facility, he added.

Launched in Columbia, Missouri, Shangri-La currently operates locations in Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Illinois, according to its application. It recently opened its first Connecticut retail location in Norwalk.

Shangri-La’s application is on Wednesday night’s agenda for Waterbury’s City Plan Commission, which is responsible for making a recommendation to the city’s Zoning Commission on the proposal. The Zoning Commission is expected to take up the request at its Aug. 28 meeting. 






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