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Hearing on cannabis moratorium

NORTH CANAAN — Eager to gather public opinion on whether to establish a one-year moratorium on cannabis-related business activities in the town, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) convened a public hearing on Monday, May 9.

The hearing was seen as a first step leading toward full public awareness of the topic and to encourage residents to gain more understanding of the issues.

The Board of Selectmen will need to consider the issue and agree to move toward including the moratorium as a town-wide referendum on the November ballot.

P&Z Chair Tim Abbott reported that the commission is actively gathering information. At the regular meeting of the P&Z that immediately followed the hearing, the commission postponed action on the moratorium until its next monthly meeting, so that a six-month time frame would not expire before the November election.

Some residents who offered comments were not necessarily in favor of cannabis, although they were persuaded by the prospect of additional revenue for the town.

Tax bills are rising, one resident said, and selectmen are short on options to raise revenue for the town. Some saw a time of increasing Region One enrollment obligations, bringing higher costs.

A few favored allowing a cannabis business. Others saw possibility that allowing cannabis sales would bring a greater volume of business to the town, potentially strengthening retail shops and restaurants.

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