Smiths Falls, Ont., is being asked to amend its smoking bylaw by one of the town’s biggest employers.
Canopy Growth is asking town council to relax the rules so it can allowing cannabis smoking and vaping at its plant, all in the name of research.
“For over eight years we’ve had a smoking bylaw in town to make sure we protect our public from second hand smoke, to try to discourage smoking in public places overall,” explained Shawn Pankow, mayor of Smiths Falls.
“When that was designed we didn’t really anticipate something down the road (like) a company like Canopy saying, ‘Well, we want to do some medical research.'”
That’s what the cannabis producer has said, but it can’t do so because of the bylaw. Pankow says committee of the whole supported the amendment to the bylaw earlier this week.
“It was recognition that it’s a controlled environment; everything is going to be well-documented,” Pankow said.
“Again, Health Canada sees a need here for that type of research and we wouldn’t want to stand in the way and be a barrier to that.”
The mayor says the company actually came to the municipality to inform it it had received a research licence from Health Canada.
“If they has gone ahead and done it we would never know, right. I mean we’re not walking through the building seeing what’s going on in there,” the mayor said.
“It just shows how up front and above board they are with absolutely everything they do.”
Next up is approval of the amendment by town council, which should happen on Oct. 5.