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October 26, 2023

Waterbury approves cannabis dispensary; second proposed retailer asks for more time 

Google Maps 99 Brookside Road, Waterbury. 

A cannabis dispensary tied to Missouri-based retail chain Shangri-La was approved by Waterbury’s Zoning Commission Wednesday, while another multi-state company seeking to open a different retail location in the city gained a continuance to explore a possible legal issue with its proposal.

In its application, the Shangri-La affiliates say they plan to open a 3,000-square-foot dispensary at 99 Brookside Road, in Waterbury. 

Founded in Columbia, Missouri in 2021, Shangri-La started with a focus on medical cannabis, and has since expanded operations to Ohio, South Dakota, Illinois and Connecticut.

Its Waterbury operation will have a 550-square-foot sales floor, with the remaining 2,450 square feet serving as a secure vault for product, administrative offices and a waiting area, according to its application. The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with 12 to 15 staff working at any one time, according to the application.

Applicants affiliated with Chicago-based cannabis packaging and retailing giant Green Thumb Industries Inc. applied to operate a 5,000-square-foot cannabis retail shop at 53 Interstate Lane, an industrial area just off the busy Reidville Drive retail corridor.

Attorney Christopher Russo asked for, and received, a continuance for that application until Nov. 16, in order to explore concerns raised by the public about the proposal, according to a letter to City Planner Robert Nerney.

Nerney said the concern is related to whether the proposed location may be too close to another Connecticut dispensary affiliated with Green Thumb Industries.

Attempts to reach Russo have been unsuccessful.

Connecticut’s cannabis law forbids retail equity joint venture dispensaries owned by the same backer from locating within 20 miles of each other. 

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