by Lucie Roy
Sturgeon County held two Cannabis Legalization and Cannabis Related Policy Public Information Sessions at the Sturgeon County Office on Thursday.
Presenter Colin Krywiak, Acting Manager, Sturgeon County Current Planning & Development Services said the changes to Sturgeon County land use bylaws and policies surrounding the legalization of cannabis is dependent on regulations and recommendations provided by the provincial and federal governments.
Before proposing any bylaw changes to accommodate the legalization of cannabis, Sturgeon County wants to engage with and gather feedback and input from residents and stakeholders.
The two Thursday sessions provided handouts and a survey and display boards with info to talk about developing regulations. For those who could not attend the survey is also available online.
As more information is provided in the coming months, Sturgeon County will adjust the development of the bylaw and policies accordingly to help manage the legalization of cannabis in the best interest of the community.
The first round of amendments related to cannabis in the land use bylaw is scheduled to go to Council for first reading on Tuesday, May 8.
Krywiak said it is important to note that the first round of proposed land use bylaw amendments will only add to cannabis-related definitions to the definitions section of the land use bylaw. This is to add clarification to existing definitions that do not include cannabis production and distribution or cannabis retail sales. This is to ensure that cannabis and related uses are considered distinct uses and will not be interpreted as part of other existing uses within the land use bylaw. For instance, this would eliminate the possibility of a proponent contending that extending existing retail sales would include cannabis.
The second round of amendments which will come after federal and provincial will determine in which land use district, if any, cannabis productions, distribution and retail sales may be allowed and whether those uses would be permitted or discretionary. Further public engagement, including a public hearing, will occur at that point in time.
The Cannabis Survey includes the levels of support or opposition of the legalization of cannabis, questions on business regulations, thoughts on consumption, where it would be allowed to be consumed, where to locate cannabis retail stores and process and distribution facilities.
The survey can be found online at http://www.sturgeoncounty.ca/About-Sturgeon/County-Information/Public-Engagement/Cannabis-Information-Sessions/Cannabis-Survey.