Connecticut lawsuit seeks repeal of Stamford, state marijuana legalization

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A group of suburban Stamford, Connecticut, homeowners who are upset about marijuana legalization is suing to shut down local cannabis sales.

But the Stamford Neighborhoods Coalition’s lawsuit, filed Aug. 9, asks a judge to go bigger and block the cannabis industry throughout the entire state, the CTNewsJunkie reported.

Connecticut legalized a medical marijuana program in 2012.

Then, in 2021, the state approved an adult-use market under what’s considered one of the strictest regulatory regimes in the country. State law also gives localities considerable regulatory power.

Last month, Stamford officials tightened the regulations that apply to smoke shops as well as the two adult-use marijuana stores in the city.

But in its lawsuit filed in state Superior Court, the Stamford Neighborhoods Coalition claimed that since marijuana stores violate the federal Controlled Substances Act, any state or local law that permits cannabis activity is unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs include about a dozen homeowners as well as the director of a church-affiliated nursery school.

The lawsuit also claims that the state social equity plan is unconstitutional since it awards licenses “based on race.”

In addition, the lawsuit claims that licensed cannabis activity:

  • Increases crime, and therefore threatens children.
  • Diminishes local homeowners’ property values.

The suit asks a judge to abolish Stamford’s marijuana regulations and also shut down “all Cannabis businesses in Stamford and the State of Connecticut.”

The suit names both the local Zoning Board as well as Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons.

A spokesperson for Connecticut Attorney General William Tong told CTNewsJunkie his office is reviewing the lawsuit.

No hearings are scheduled for the case, according to the case docket.