STAMFORD, CT — The Stamford Zoning Board on Monday night unanimously approved a special permit for Nautilus Botanicals to open a hybrid cannabis dispensary near the border with Darien.

Located at 1308 E. Main St., Nautilus Botanicals will convert The Boatyard BBQ & Grill restaurant into a dispensary that sells both medical and recreational cannabis.

An addition is planned for the second story where the retail store and office will be. The first floor will be used for storage, according to submitted documents. The site will be re-striped to have a total of 21 parking spaces.

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This will mark Stamford’s fourth hybrid cannabis dispensary; city zoning regulations only allow five.

The site is on the easternmost edge of Stamford, south of I-95, directly on the west bank of the Noroton River and across from Darien.

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Residents and Darien First Selectman Jon Zagrodzky have been vocal in their opposition to the cannabis dispensary, saying it would expose youth to cannabis, negatively impact area business and increase traffic.

According to a traffic study conducted by Langan Engineering, “the project will have no noticeable impact on traffic patterns in the area.”

At the start of Monday’s discussion on the agenda item, Zoning Board Chair David Stein asked his colleagues if they were willing to move forward on approval.

“Unfortunately, it meets the requirements so I don’t think we have much choice,” said board member William Morris.

The board swiftly granted approval Monday night with little debate, but members included several conditions Nautilus Botanicals must follow.

Notably, the company must submit a landscaping plan for additional plantings in the rear of the property along the western and northern property boundary subject to review and approval by Land Use Bureau staff.

A security guard will be hired to manage potential traffic impacts, deter loitering and clear the lot after closing.

Some members were concerned about customers potentially using cannabis in the parking lot, so a condition was added that stipulated. Nautilus Botanicals must close off the parking lot during non-business hours so vehicles can’t get in.

Operating hours will be Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.,and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nautilus Botanicals had proposed a different location for a dispensary in Stamford several months ago at 110 E. Main St., the former site of the drive-through grocery store The Barn. The proposal was denied by the Stamford Zoning Board due to parking issues, and the decision was appealed.

Leonard Braman, attorney for the applicant, said in April if Nautilus Botanicals received final approval for the 1308 E. Main St., location, the appeal would not be further pursued.

The other hybrid cannabis dispensaries in Stamford are Curaleaf at 814 E. Main St., and Fine Fettle, which is at 12 Research Drive in Glenbrook. Sweetspot is slated to open at 111 High Ridge Road, according to the Stamford Advocate.

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