MERIDEN — The Board of Education has made clear — its members are opposed to the potential approval of a recreational cannabis store near a district-run program that serves young adults with special education needs.
Meanwhile, the applicant behind the proposal maintained that such opposition is based on what he described as a “backwards stigma” against adult cannabis users.
Biagio N. Gulino, the proprietor of Blue Leaf LLC/BGE LLC, is seeking the Planning Commission’s approval of a special permit to open the proposed dispensary at 28 W. Main St.
Board of Education President Robert Kosienski Jr., in a letter addressed to the Planning Commission, explained the Community Classroom Collaborative program currently serves 30 students between the ages of 18 and 22 years old. The program consists of two teachers, three job coaches and a paraprofessional who work with those students.
“The program is designed to support students with everyday living and social and employment skills,” Kosienski wrote.
“…All of the children in the program are receiving special education services. While they may have completed credits toward graduation, they remain Meriden Public Schools’ students until they exit the program,” Kosienski continued. “We believe any special permit application discussion should not lose sight of the students who benefit from the