Report by Paula Antolini
September 11, 2017 5:34PM EDT
Photo: ‘Compassionate Care Center’ Marijuana Dispensary business owners Angela D’Amico (right) and Karen Barski, at the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing in 2014.
After All the Controversy, Bethel’s ‘Compassionate Care Center’ Marijuana Dispensary Is Considering Moving Their Business To Norwalk
It started out as a controversial business, in both location and product sold, and how the application was approved when they moved to Bethel, CT, in 2014. Butnow Compassionate Care Center of CT (CCC) Marijuana Dispensary is considering leaving Bethel and moving to Norwalk, CT, after only three years in business at 4 Garella Road in Bethel, CT.
Compassionate Care Center of CT wants to possibly move their Medical Marijuana business to Norwalk because it would be closer for more of their patients, says one of the owners, Angela D’Amico, according to WSHU Public Radio / NPR. “The majority of our patients come from lower Fairfield County, so I am looking at different options to possible relocate, so that the majority of the patients don’t have to commute, ya know, over 40 minutes, and so I can be more centrally located. I think it would be advantageous for Norwalk to have that,” D’Amico is quoted on NPR.
The dispensary owners, Angela D’Amico and Karen Barski of D&B Wellness, Inc., who are Trumbull residents, originally submitted their Bethel business application to the Town of Bethel in 2014. The business was then quickly approved by town zoning official (at the time) Steven Palmer, after only a week of review, and just two days before a state deadline, and within days of when the applicant’s eligibility for one of six state dispensary licenses would be able to be obtained from the state Department of Consumer Protection. Palmer ruled this a retail operation. First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker also agreed with this approval.
It was approved before residents knew anything about it, and caused an uproar with many residents for various reasons.
In fact, this controversy lead to a hearing with the Zoning Board of Appeals after two residents, Michael J. Moore and Phillip M. Lombino, hired attorney Peter Olsen to appeal the decision by the Zoning Enforcement Officer to approve the application for a zoning permit filed by business owners Angela D’Amico and Karen Barski, for use of a property located at 4 Garella Road in Bethel, CT, as a Medical Marijuana Dispensary. An appeal was filed on May 22, 2014. (View video of Moore and Lombino at Zoning Boardof Appeals hearing HERE and HERE.)
Three other towns had turned down Angela D’Amico and Karen Barski before this, namely Stratford, Bridgeport and Redding. Other towns such as Newtown, were in the process of continuing a public hearing on June 5, 2014, which began on May 15, 2014, because they needed more time to consider a proposal to create new zoning regulations that would allow them to place a moratorium on certain land use applications. The proposal also includes applying a one year moratorium on medical marijuana growing and dispensing locally.
Compassionate Care Center (CCC) was one of six dispensaries in the state at the time, and the only one in Fairfield County, approved for a license by the state Department of Consumer Protection. The other spots are in Hartford, Branford, South Windsor, Uncasville and Bristol.
Peter Olsen eventually lost the Moore/Lombino appeal and the Marijuana Dispensary was allowed to open in Bethel.
Compassionate Care Center owners and manager did not return our phone call for information regarding this matter.