DBIA: Cornwall’s marijuana vendors by-law too restrictive

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By Nick Seebruch
DBIA: Cornwall’s marijuana vendors by-law too restrictive
Leafy marijuana plant with hairy bud at indoor cannabis farm

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall’s Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) have stated that they feel that the City’s by-law on where private marijuana vendors can be located is too restrictive.

Comments from the DBIA as relayed by Centretown Coordinator Todd Lihou to City of Cornwall administration have been prepared in a report to Cornwall City Council to be presented at their May 27 meeting.

“At the meeting the management board expressed deep concern about the policies contained in the document as they relate to the legal sale and use of cannabis in Ontario,” the statement reads. “In short, the DBIA board believes that the legal sale of a product, any product, should be allowed within its borders and that of Central Business District (CBD).”

Cornwall City Council passed a motion on Jan. 10, 2019 to allow private marijuana vendors within the city limits, however, Cornwall did not receive or meet the requirements for any private vendor to be granted a license by the province.

In March, administration presented Council with a report that outlined where private marijuana vendors could and could not be located in Cornwall for future reference if the city ever did receive a license.

The report recommended that marijuana vendors not be allowed to establish themselves within a certain radius of Schools, Day Nursaries/Childcare Centres, Libraries, Hospitals, Youth Facilities and Mental Health/Addiction and Detox Centres. The province of Ontario already requires marijuana vendors to be at least 150m away from schools.

In their statement to administration, the DBIA felt that “the new policies will strictly, if not completely, prohibit the sale of cannabis, a legal product, within the boundaries of the DBIA.”

Cornwall’s other business improvement area, the Le Village BIA had not had a chance to meet formally to discuss the proposed changes.

“Unlike the DBIA, Le Village does not formally meet on a monthly basis, so in this particular case there has not been an opportunity for the board to officially weigh in,” said Lihou in his statement to city administration. “That being said, I can tell you unofficially the individuals I have spoken to who sit upon the Le Village board, and members at large, have much the same opinion as those individuals downtown.”

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