When Jenny Maher thinks of marijuana retail shops opening in Connecticut next year, she sees Canton risking something if it doesn’t get in early.
“My fear is that surrounding towns will jump on this faster and we will lose out on this amazing opportunity for more tax revenue,” Maher told the town’s zoning officials in a letter this month opposing a temporary moratorium.
Betty Fiora took a different approach, telling the town, “I would hate to see Canton considered to be the big joke of the Farmington Valley and filled with potheads.”
Despite a lively debate with dozens of comments on social media, Fiora and Maher were among just six residents who formally gave their opinions to the planning and zoning commission before it voted unanimously to adopt a one-year moratorium last week.
And in that way, Canton has been similar to several other Connecticut towns where few taxpayers are officially entering the marijuana dispensary debate. Community Facebook pages and other platforms are frequently filled with back-and-forth arguments about the value or danger of allowing local marijuana retailers, but formal hearings so far have drawn small audiences or none at all.
Newington became the first town in the state to authorize a local retail seller,