FARMINGTON — Selectmen were asked at the Sept. 14 meeting to remove the limit on the number of marijuana stores allowed.

The Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Ordinance allows three retail and four medical establishments with limitations on where they can be located.

When the marijuana law was passed, towns started looking at ordinances, resident and former selectman Ryan Morgan said. Farmington’s ordinance has limited what can and can’t happen, he noted.

“Free capitalism is what we’re all trying to do,” Morgan said. “You don’t say, ‘There’s too many gas stations, too many pharmacies, we don’t want you.’ Open it up and let the economy, the public work it out.

“You see businesses go up every day and then they don’t survive,” he noted. “I think by opening it up to the market the market will govern how many there are.”

Wilton just did that, Morgan said.

The recreational marijuana store Morgan wants to open would provide taxable income. He shared how marijuana had helped him get off opioids and anxiety medications prescribed because of health issues.

“It’s been a huge asset, I know of others who have received the benefit,” Morgan said. “I’m just asking that we eliminate the cap and allow the market to decide how many shops.”

The location Morgan has in mind is near The Roost on Main Street. It would need a variance, he said.

“What you’re suggesting will take an ordinance change of major proportions,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said. “That takes a town vote. Everything would tip from there one way or another, either expanding to some greater number or having unlimited numbers.”

Is there a demand so there is a need for more, resident Dennis O’Neil asked.

“I do know there is a waiting list for every category,” Selectman Chairman Matthew Smith said. “People are holding on to licenses, we need to take care of that issue.”

In May a section was added to the Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Ordinance to clarify the responsibility of marijuana licensees/permittees in making prompt, timely payment for licenses/permits and the consequences of not doing so.

While Bell said he would be willing to pursue the selling side, he was hesitant to add more grow operations due to the public’s concerns about their smell.

“I’ll never have a chance if I don’t try to change it,” Morgan said.

Not paying fees was just addressed, Smith said. “Ryan brings up a lot of valid points, we’ll have to look at it. Some wording and the Zoning Ordinance may need to be changed.”

Code Enforcement Director Steven Kaiser is on vacation until the end of the month, Smith noted.

“Your point is well taken,” Bunker said. “We’ll get to work on it.”

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