ROXBURY — The Board of Selectmen continued to discuss a marijuana moratorium for the town at a meeting on Tuesday, October 5, and approved to raise the wages for police private duty.
The selectmen have not made any official motions or ordinances on marijuana use and continue to discuss what direction would be best for the town.
Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law a measure that legalized the adult use of cannabis. Retail sale of cannabis will begin July 1, 2022.
According to a statement from Gov. Lamont’s office, the legislation is meant to address areas that include equity, criminal justice, public health and public safety.
First Selectman Barbara Henry said residents can grow certain amounts of marijuana in the privacy of their homes.
Selectman Jim Conway said town officials should consider an ordinance that would prohibit the use of cannabis in town buildings and discuss zoning measures that would address where cannabis could be sold.
If the allow sale of cannabis were to be allowed, it would be in a business zone, according to Mr. Conway. He called it a two-step process: where it could be used if there is a town ordinance and where could it be sold, which will be up to the Zoning Commission.
Selectman Russell Dirienzo suggested a town informational meeting could discuss what residents would prefer.
Ms. Henry noted town officials are still seeing new information and regulations related to marijuana use. She said other towns have instituted moratoriums until more information is available.
Gov. Lamont noted in his news releases that, “for decades, the war on cannabis caused injustices and created disparities while doing little to protect the public health and safety.” He said the law is an attempt to right some of those wrongs and to create a comprehensive framework for a regulated market.
He called the measure modernizing state laws, addressing inequities and keeping Connecticut economically competitive.
Possession of cannabis is legal for adults ages 21 and over, of not more than 1.5 ounces on their persons and no more than five ounces at their homes or locked in a car or glove box. The law cites that residents who are patients “participating in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program will be permitted to cultivate up to six cannabis plants indoors within their homes,” a measure that took effect on October 1, 2021.
The new law also erases prior convictions that occurred between January 1, 2000, to October 1, 2015. People who are seeking to erase cannabis-related convictions outside of that period will need to petition.
In other news, selectmen approved an increase in the monthly wage for police private duty from $55 to $65 an hour for residential and $80 to $85 for commercial, with police getting $50 an hour.
Ms. Henry said there are three constables in Roxbury. If the board did not act on the matter, residents and businesses would have to use State Police instead of local constables, the cost of which would be about $170 an hour.
Ms. Henry told selectmen she will be interviewing candidates for a full time senior center director, noting the town’s high senior population. Mr. Dirienzo did not agree with the idea and wanted to discuss it prior to the job listing being posted.
Ms. Henry countered that the full time position would make it easier for the center to plan further activities and keep up to date on the latest programming.
She also gave an update on DeSantis Energy, which did a walk-through of town buildings; no fatal flaws have been found so far. She said the company will be back in November to give an update.