NAUGATUCK, Conn. — Friday will mark one month since recreational marijuana sales started. But just because marijuana is now legal for recreational sale in Connecticut doesn’t mean it’s legal to be sold just anywhere by anyone. That’s the message coming from a recent incident in Naugatuck that’s raising some eyebrows in the valley.
“The vehicle was parked up at Walmart. We started getting several complaints,” said Naugatuck Police Sgt. Danielle Durette.
It all started last week when a completely conspicuous graphic-wrapped van set up shop in the Naugatuck Walmart parking lot and started selling marijuana and CBD products to customers.
Police arrested two men. Stanley Livingston of Bridgeport and James Brown of New York. They are both charged with money laundering, among other things. The van was operating without any license or permits.
“It’s pretty blatantly obvious what they were soliciting and selling,” said Sgt. Durette.
The ‘Rollahollic Mobile Dispensary’ as it was labeled, was selling weed on wheels and has since been impounded by Naugatuck Police. The van has CT license plates but the phone number listed on the side just rings and goes to a message saying no voicemail has been set up.
“That’s a dead giveaway. I think that’s absolutely insane that someone would be doing that in a Walmart parking lot,” reacted Devin Gancher of Naugatuck. “With it being legal and everything now I thought something like this would eventually happen I just didn’t know it would be this early.”
The town of Naugatuck told FOX61 that while they obviously don’t condone illegal activity - they welcome the legal industry and just created zoning rules to regulate it. The regulations include not allowing retail shops within 500 feet of each other or any schools, playgrounds, or parks.
“I liken it back to what it was like in the 40s and 50s when liquor started being out in stores and bars and restaurants. Who knows what cannabis will be in the future but it is here. You can’t prevent it from coming into your town even if you banned it so we are looking at it as a potential revenue source for the community and town,” said zoning officer Ed Carter.
As for those two men who were arrested. They’ll appear in court next month and have since been released on bond. The state Department of Consumer Protection told FOX61 there are no permits or licenses in Connecticut that would make it legal for marijuana to be sold out of a van.
Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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