Town setting policy re cannabis retail locations

CAO Malcolm Morris presented a brief policy paper to council on where to site cannabis retail outlets in Town. Photo credit: Sally Smith.
Posted on: December 11, 2018

Sally Smith

CAO Malcolm Morris brought a cannabis report to Committee of the Whole. Provincial cannabis retailing regulations include a 150 metre buffer area for cannabis stores to keep them separated from schools. No buffers from any other use, sensitive or otherwise, have been specified in the regulations.

However, “staff recommend we develop our own standards to apply to applications,” Morris said. Much of the discussion centred around Smiths Falls’ wish list of where outlets should not be placed. The list included  municipal libraries, daycare/childcare facilities, municipal playground/parkland, recreation facilities, social service agencies serving children and youth, addiction treatment facilities, rehabilitation centre/transition housing — and councillors added several more. Morris said staff would prepare a visual for councillors for their next meeting.

Three objectives colour the selection of locations — protecting youth, public health and safety, and ending illegal sales of cannabis. Those municipalities that have not opted-out to allow retail cannabis stores in their communities as of January 22, 2019, by default, have opted-in.