MERIDEN — The city’s Planning Commission on Wednesday night voted to continue its public hearing on an application for a cannabis dispensary downtown following criticism of its location near two school programs and the issue of a fellow member filing the application on behalf of his son.
Planning Commission member Ross Gulino and his son Biagio Gulino filed an application for a special permit to open a recreational cannabis dispensary at Gulino’s property at 28 W. Main St.
The application was filed prior to a citywide moratorium on cannabis operations that runs from Aug. 17 to Nov. 19. Gulino’s son is behind Blue Leaf LLC, which will operate the business and Ross Gulino owns the building. The moratorium was passed by the City Council.
Because it was filed prior to the moratorium, Gulino’s application does not need to conform to zoning regulations enacted Tuesday by the City Council, according to attorney Dennis Ceneviva, who is representing the Gulinos on the application. He expects the proposal to be treated as any retail use, similar to a package store.
Gulino has recused himself from public discussions surrounding regulating cannabis operations in the city and left the room during Wednesday’s public hearing. City Planner Paul Dickson said that Gulino’s role as a commissioner did not present a conflict of interest