North Huron council to adopt municipal cannabis policy

·2 min read

NORTH HURON – The Township of North Huron will permit cannabis stores in the area after approving a Municipal Cannabis Policy Statement at the regular council meeting.

Council revisited the subject in March, reconsidering a previous decision to opt-out of cannabis retail stores in the township.

The policy statement’s purpose is “to establish a document for the Township of North Huron to provide input to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) during the 15-day commenting period.”

The policy will also help prospective cannabis retailers in their search for locations in North Huron.

The AGCO is the provincial authority that licenses cannabis retail operators, authorizes cannabis retail locations, and licenses senior store staff.

Municipal governments have no licensing authority.

Any cannabis retail location must adhere to the same regulations as any other retailer, including land use planning and municipal building inspections.

The location of the physical business must not be within 100 metres of nearby properties are designed to serve youth or other sensitive facilities that service persons with mental health or addiction challenges, including: Wingham and District Hospital, Wingham Community Psychiatric Services, Alice Munro Library, North Huron Children’s Centre, North Huron Wescast Community Complex, Cruickshank Park, Wingham Splashpad Park, Wingham Lions’ Pavilion, Riverside Park and Ball Diamonds, Wingham Ecological Park, Belgrave Community Centre, Belgrave Community Park, Blyth & District Community Centre, Blyth Campground, Blyth Memorial Hall, Horticulture Park in Blyth, Blyth Butterfly Garden, Blyth Memorial Park, Blyth Skate Park, and Lions Park in Blyth.

The location is also restricted from being located within 150 metres of public or private schools.

The distance buffer would be measured from the property line if the school is the primary or only occupant of a building; or the boundary of any space occupied by the school within the building if the school shares space, like in a mall.

The township cannot adopt a greater distance.

Staff was instructed to prepare a bylaw for presentation at the next council meeting on Apr. 19.

Green Cloud Cannabis, a retailer that reached out to North Huron to reconsider the decision to opt-out, had been looking at a location in Wingham. However, they have since found out that the chosen site was within the 150-meter distance of a private school. Owner Paul James told the Wingham Advance Times that they are currently looking for a different location that will comply with the regulations. James also owns the Green Cloud Cannabis dispensary located in Listowel.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times