“The Privatization of Cannabis Retail Sales and Policy Update.”
That’s the name of a staff report that will likely turn a lot of heads on Tuesday when council looks at options for marijuana being sold in Norfolk.
Staff looked at multiple options and across different municipalities and came up with five options.
Option A is utilizing existing retail uses similar to alcohol or tobacco. This would mean retail stores to corner stores could take part in selling marijuana.
Option B is similar except there are set back rules in place so it couldn’t be sold near places like a school, daycare, and place of worship.
Option C would allow council to choose specific zones where this can be permitted.
Option D is the same as C but would also put in setbacks from sensitive places.
Option E would allow retail cannabis sales but not permit it outright. This means a business would need a zoning by-law amendment to sell the drug.
Staff does not recommend options C, D, or E which are the harsher terms as they feel it could be classified as something known as people zoning which is not permitted in the planning act and could lead to future human rights challenges.
Staffs opinion is that the retail sale of cannabis should be treated similarly to other recreational substances such as alcohol and tobacco.
Also in the report, it looks at the counties zoning by-law when it comes to production and processing of cannabis.
Staff says they have seen some site plan applications for these type of facilities in Norfolk.
This by-law keeps it a certain distance away from sensitive lands like a dwelling or public school but feels it should be expanded to include places like a hotel, campgrounds, mobile parks, place of sports and recreation, and hospitals to name a few.
The report also says that the upcoming Odour control by-law is scheduled to come before council shortly as it is being circulated to other departments for comment.