Aldermen approve dispensary ban
By Gordon Dritschilo
Selling marijuana will remain completely illegal in the City of Rutland.
The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Monday to approve an ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries and the growing of marijuana for such dispensaries within city limits. There was no debate on the measure, which had unanimously cleared the Public Safety Committee the previous week.
Act 65, which authorized the licensing of four medical marijuana dispensaries around the state, allows municipalities to opt out by using either zoning or an ordinance to forbid such facilities.
Registered medical marijuana patients will still be able to grow their own or have a designated caregiver do so. They will also be able to become members at dispensaries that open in other communities. Two have been licensed so far — one in Burlington and one in Waterbury.
In the committee hearing last week, the aldermen heard from Police Chief James Baker that such dispensaries had become crime magnets in other states. Some aldermen said they had not heard from any medical marijuana users in the city saying they wanted a dispensary nearby because they were incapable of growing their own, but would reconsider their positions if such people came forward.
Alderman Sean Sargeant speculated that Rutland County’s relatively low concentration of licensed users might make it unlikely that the county would be targeted for a dispensary.