Middletown receives its first application for a cannabis dispensary

Photo of Erin Kayata

MIDDLETOWN — A cannabis shop may soon become Middletown’s latest business offering.

A year after Connecticut legalized marijuana, the city has gotten an application for a cannabis shop to fill the old Bank of America building at 895 Washington St., to the west of the Starbucks restaurant on Route 66.

The property is owned by Middletown Washington LLC of Clifton, N.J.

The planning and zoning application was submitted earlier this month by SFC CT of Fairfield, which describes itself as a partnership between the Bluepoint Wellnes of Westport medical marijuana dispensary, and Connecticut residents Wesley Jackson and Maria Healey.

The 1,840-square-foot retail space would be open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There would be seven to 10 employees throughout the space with 26 parking spaces, according to the application.

Applicant Nick Tamborrino of Bluepoint Wellness declined to comment on the project until closer to the public hearing in September.

The property is located in a B-2 general business zone, which allows for cannabis retail.

Director of Land Use and Middletown City Planner Marek Kozikowski said that the Planning and Zoning Commission approved zoning language last August that allowed this sort of special exception use in certain business zones following the state’s legalization of marijuana last year.

Kozikowski added this is the first cannabis retail store application Middletown has received since passing the language.

“Middletown was one of those communities that adopted language … so we can allow it and be able to regulate in a way that has minimal impact on the community,” Kozikowski said.

“It’s a benefit to Middletown, as is any commercial development. It’s taking an existing building that’s been vacant for some time and putting a new business in there that is allowed by zoning code,” he added.

The application will be subject to a public hearing on Sept. 14. The special exception application still needs review and approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission as well.

Kozikowski said it was too soon to determine if there would be any opposition to the store opening there.

“It’s hard to gauge at this point because this is the first application, but it’s very new,” he said.

Kozikowski said the plan has been distributed to various city departments — typical for these sorts of applications. Public works submitted some concerns about the arrangement of the parking spaces, while the fire marshal and water and sewer had no objections.

Planning and zoning meetings are held at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 245 deKoven Drive. For information on the September meeting, visit middletownct.gov.