Smiths Falls Mayor headed to Washington D.C. to speak to Congress

Shawn Pankow
Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow will speak to U.S. congress in Washington D.C. on April 30. Photo credit: Emilie Must.
Posted on: April 12, 2019

Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow will speak to the Congressional Cannabis Caucus in Washington D.C. on April 30.

Canopy Growth invited Mayor Pankow at the beginning of March as part of “Canada Day” on Capitol Hill to help push forward the legalization of recreational cannabis use in the U.S.

“It’s definitely not something I would have anticipated ever happening before,” Mayor Pankow said. “It feels good to have an opportunity to share the uniqueness of the story of Smiths Falls and we have to remember had Canopy located in Ottawa or Toronto or some other major centre, it would be much harder to measure the impact.”

The Congressional Cannabis Caucus is a bi-partisan group of congressmen and women representing the states where cannabis is already legal.

Recreational cannabis is legal in 12 states and is rumoured to go forward with complete legalization federally by the end of this year. CNN reported in January that the CE0 of a cannabis firm announced his belief that 2019 will be the year the U.S. legalizes cannabis.

“My understanding is that there is a bit of a shift in acceptance in the US by a lot of members of congress,” Mayor Pankow said. “I think it’s over 70 per cent of people in the US believe cannabis should be legalized for recreational use.”

The arrival of Canopy Growth in 2015 has substantially improved the town’s economy and has made Smiths Falls the centre of cannabis in Canada.

The growth of Canopy Growth from a few hundred employees to more than 1200 in 2019 has made an unprecedented demand for housing in Smiths Falls. Mayor Pankow hopes to share the social and economic benefits cannabis has brought to Smiths Falls and can bring to the U.S.

“We are the global headquarters of a multinational company, the world’ largest producer of cannabis,” Mayor Pankow said. “My hope is federal legalization would happen down there and it would still help stimulate Canopy Growth in Smiths Falls.”

Article by Emilie Must