WASHINGTON — The Board of Selectmen, meeting Thursday, September 2, discussed cannabis regulations.
Following a public hearing on the matter, Selectman Jay Hubelbank shared questions with the town attorney, who described a social equity council that the town would form to detail retail use.
The state is not expected to begin licensing before July of 2022.
“There isn’t going to be a firm knocking on our door,” Mr. Hubelbank said, explaining there is time to react and for the selectmen to consider a possible ordinance. That would go before the voters in a town meeting.
A separate ordinance could be written to ban smoking of both tobacco and cannabis in specific areas of town.
“I think that’s, to me, the tougher question,” First Selectman Jim Brinton commented and Selectman Dean Sarjeant said he would not want to create an ordinance that wasn’t enforceable.
In his report, Mr. Brinton noted the considerable rain from Hurricane Ida, with only two significant road washouts.
He said he was slightly disappointed with Eversource; of the seven crews in town, none were able to do more than assess. “It’s redundant because we already do that.”
Mr. Brinton said 12 restoration crews were enroute to Washington at the time of the meeting to help the 300 people without power, about 10 percent of the population.
During the meeting, the first selectman also addressed speeding in town, especially in Washington Depot.
“It’s a disaster waiting to happen,” Mr. Brinton said before he shared his research with the state, which would base action on incident reports.
Mr. Brinton has drafted a formal request for a study in the Depot to identify what might be put in place to slow traffic. “What is the state going to allow the town to do?”
Mr. Hubelbank asked about a pedestrian walkway by The Gunnery, which he felt made a positive impact. “Nobody wants a light, I don’t think.”
In other business, the board appointed Melinda Ely Dubow as an alternate on the Inland Wetlands Commission and waived fees as for use of the Main Hall for the Knights of Columbus.
The group will still be responsible for custodial and other fees as the selectmen noted that the event would benefit town residents.
Before adjourning, the selectmen discussed the town’s plastic bag ordinance.
Mr. Hubelbank said he’s seen more single-use bags in town and would like to draft a letter from the selectmen to educate local businesses about the ordinance.
Although the ordinance allows fines, he would not want to enforce them; the board agreed with drafting an educational letter.