Pittsford Considers Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

12/05/12 4:10PM By Kirk Carapezza

AP/Elaine Thompson
Town officials in Pittsford are expected to vote Wednesday night about how to approach medical marijuana dispensaries.

Alexandra Ford is executive director of Rutland County Organics, one of the state's four nonprofits certified to set up a dispensary in the state.

Ford approached the town's select board this fall about a potential site in Pittsford.

Ford told the board she hopes to serve patients in the southern part of the state who don't currently have access to the drug.

Some residents in Pittsford worry the town is not the best location for a dispensary. But Board Chairman Hank Pelkey says while a medical marijuana dispensary carries a certain stigma, the medication would benefit those suffering from chronic illness.

As leaders at the Statehouse prepare to debate whether to decriminalize the drug for recreational use, city and town officials across Vermont are grappling with how to handle the prospect of medical dispensaries coming to their community.

Public safety officials have already approved dispensaries in Burlington and Waterbury.

Under state law, there are still two permits available.

In October, the city of Rutland approved a ban on dispensaries, citing security and public safety concerns.

Other towns in Rutland County are considering similar measures.

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