In This Vermont City, the Cops Don’t Oppose Retail Cannabis Sales

Posted on January 26th, 2021 to Uncategorized by

Eli’s Note: All blogs on Vermontijuana are factually-accurate and backed up with receipts and links, but I am also active in the cannabis community through my own Vermontijuana cannabis collective, events, and tours, and am pursuing my own licensed legal establishments.

On Monday night, the Winooski City Council voted unanimously to put a resolution on the 2021 Town Meeting Day ballot that will ask voters whether to ‘opt-in’ and approve legal cannabis sales by licensed retail stores as allowed by Act 164.

The deliberative discourse played out over the course of the month of January as Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott presided over multiple public City Council meetings that included presentations and memos from the City Manager, Zoning and Planning Director, Fire Chief, and Chief of Police.

While concerns were expressed about manufacturing from multiple officials, a surprising nod to the retail-only efforts came from Chief of Police Rick Hebert in the form of a memo.

“After reviewing research materials covering multiple cities that have already approved retail sales, it is my opinion that a retail cannabis establishment would not directly increase Public Safety calls for service in our community.”

Read Full Winooski Police Chief Memo

The memo also outlined specific security recommendations for would-be cannabis retailers including choosing high visibility location(s) away from schools; extra-strength lighting, doors, and cameras; and limiting large amounts of cash on hand.

Supporters of cannabis retail in Winooski included at least two different entrepreneurs — including the one writing this post — who submitted an electronic petition with over 100 names to the board and posted dozens of fliers throughout the Winooski downtown area.

 

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If passed, the resolution would permit independent retailers to operate, but would not include integrated licensee applicants, who were not involved in, nor present at, any Winooski discussions.

The vote will take place at Winooski Town Meeting Day on March 2, 2021 and if passed — and many other things happen — independent retail cannabis sales could theoretically start as soon as October 2022.

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