Stratford OKs first recreational cannabis dispensary amid pushback

STRATFORD — Despite pushback from some residents, a Chicago-based company won approval from zoning officials this week to open the town’s first dispensary for recreational cannabis on Stratford Avenue. 

Verano Holdings, which operates more than 100 dispensaries across the country, has been given the greenlight to convert an old bank at 1151 Stratford Avenue into a hybrid adult-use and medical marijuana retailer. 

The Zoning Commission voted 4-1 this week to approve the store, pending the company’s acquisition of a state license. But the approval also came with strict conditions designed to ease concerns among residents that the facility will upend life in the neighborhood

Among those requirements, the store must be closed on Sunday mornings to not disrupt worship services at the nearby First Baptist Church of Stratford and will only be allowed to serve customers by appointment for the first two months it is open. 

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