CT: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Proposed For Queen Street In Southington

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A pharmacy owner wants town approval for a medical marijuana dispensary on Queen Street.

Praveen Dhulipalla is requesting a special permit application for a dispensary at 995 Queen Street. A public hearing will be scheduled at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday.

Dhulipalla owns pharmacies across the state with locations in Hartford, Avon, Southbury and Waterbury. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment and messages left at several of his pharmacy locations weren’t returned Monday.

Local zoning approval is a requirement of the state licensing system for marijuana facilities according to Lora Rae Anderson, spokeswoman for the state Department of Consumer Protection.

“You have to have local zoning sign off before you apply,” she said.

Anderson said the state department is looking to encourage the opening of “at least three more” medical facilities and is accepting applications until April 9.

In addition to local zoning approval, there are a host of other criteria including security measures, location, a review of financial records and business plan.

“It’s a long application,” Anderson said.

There are nine dispensaries in Connecticut — two in Milford and one each in Bristol, Hartford, Branford, Waterbury, Bethel, South Windsor and Uncasville. The last three licenses were awarded in 2016, but the number of card-holding patients in the state has increased from just over 8,000 to about 22,000 since then.

Greg Hancock, owner of Hancock’s Pharmacy in Meriden, said last month that he’s considering applying for a medical marijuana license. He’s applied twice before and been denied.

The proposed medical marijuana building is at the intersection of Queen and River streets. A message left with the building owner, Marc Gattinella of 995 Queen St. LLC, was also not returned Monday.