BRISTOL – This Tuesday, the Bristol Ordinance Committee will begin debating the merits of a drafted piece of potential legislation looking to define the limits of the potential retail and recreational sales of marijuana within city limits.
“We know this is an important topic for a lot of people,” said Ordinance Committee Chair and City Councilor Sue Tyler. “That’s why we think all residents should come and voice their thoughts at this meeting.”
The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the lower level of the Bristol Public Library and can also be attended via a Zoom link provided in the agenda center listing on the Bristol municipal webpage.
The councilor said the current drafted document is merely a starting point for conversation and no action is likely to be taken the evening of the meeting.
When the Ordinance Committee finds that it has a piece of potential legislation written and ready to be pushed forward in the city’s legislative processes, it will then send it to the City Council to set a date for a public hearing. The public hearing is then normally held right before an Ordinance Committee meeting where it may be approved to be sent back to the City Council who then may vote to enact it as a working piece of legislation in Bristol.
Tyler anticipates at least two official public hearings on the topics of retail sales and recreational marijuana within the municipality.
The potential ordinance seeks to “protect and preserve the public health, safety and welfare by establishing limitations, including density limitation, on the type and number of establishments that can operate in the City.”
Among some of those proposed limitations, the drafted document states that no cannabis establishments should be allowed to operate within 250 feet of a municipal park, hospital, church, school or municipal recreational facility. It creates a licensing process for potential cultivators, retailers and hybrid sellers.
“With the exception of a dispensary facility currently operating in the CIty that converts to a hybrid retailer, any retailer, hybrid retailer, cultivator or micro-cultivator must obtain approval from the City Council to operate in the City. Approvals shall be limited to no more retailers or hybrid retailers, and no more micro-cultivators than would result in one retailer and one micro-cultivator per thirty thousand residents,” reads the drafted text.
The text also would prohibit the gifting, sale or transfer of cannabis to any other person outside of a dispensary, retailer or hybrid-retailer. However, provisions in the text say their subsections “shal not be constructed to prohibit any gift of cannabis between individuals with a bona fide social relationship, provided such gift is made without consideration and is not associated with any commercial transaction.”
Hybrid-retailers, according to Tyler, sell medical and recreational cannabis.