MERIDEN — The city’s Planning Commission will have its first public hearing on a proposal for a recreational cannabis dispensary in the former Clement’s Jewelers building on West Main Street.
Blue Leaf LLC/BGE LLC has filed an application for a special permit to operate a cannabis operation in the recently renovated storefront at 28 W. Main St. Biagio Gulino sought to reserve the name of the business from the state and his father Ross Gulino, who owns the building, is a partner in BGE LLC.
Ross Gulino is also a member of the city’s Planning Commission, and recused himself in discussions and votes over how to regulate the cannabis industry in the city after the state legalized recreational cannabis on July 1. After imposing a three-month moratorium to work out details, the City Council was scheduled to vote on those regulations Tuesday night. The public hearing on the West Main Street application is scheduled for today at 6:30 p.m in City Council chambers.
“It’s my son, who has lived in downtown. He meets all the criteria,” Ross Gulino said. “Right now, we’re just trying to get the location approved.”
Ross Gulino is a managing partner for BGE and a money partner in Blue Leaf, but his son Biagio Gulino will operate the business. The state is in the process of outlining its requirements for dispensary licenses and residents of Meriden, considered a social equity municipality, can get ahead of the line. Having an approved location will help move Biagio Gulino’s application further along, Ross Gulino said.
“They’re trying to give back to (communities) hit hard by drugs,” Ross Gulino said. “But (Wednesday’s) meeting is about the location. It’s already legal, I’m trying to put it in a location that is going to drive economic development.”
Under state law, the city is eligible to have three recreational and three hybrid —recreational and medical— dispensaries. But members of the City