At a special committee of the whole meeting Smiths Falls council voted all in favour of continuing the process to apply for a cannabis retail store in town. The Ontario government recently announced a second Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario lottery that will see 50 more private retailer stores across the province.
“Certainty one of our wishes is for Canopy to get their own retail store,” Councillor Wendy Alford said. “Cannabis is legal now and we should put no more barriers on it now than we do on alcohol.”
The cannabis retail policy statement defines sensitive use zones as schools, the library, municipal recreation facilities and municipal playgrounds. The amount of restrictive areas makes it difficult for a location in downtown core.
“I think the buffer zone around the parks is too excessive,” Councillor McGuire said. “Nobody has a problem walking their kids past the LCBO. I don’t see why there would be any issues walking by a cannabis store.”
Between May 3 and May 20 the town launched a public consultation on whether the restricted areas chosen were correct and the public’s overall opinion. The majority of respondents agreed that Canopy Growth should have a cannabis store on the campus.
Council stressed that if a cannabis retail location is beside a park, it doesn’t mean the cannabis consumption areas have to be nearby.
The town map shows the areas where a cannabis store would be possible and the areas with schools and parks that are restricted.