Pubdate: Wed, 21 Feb 2018
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 Brantford Expositor
Author: Vincent Ball
Page: A1


City officials are looking for input as they deal with the
ramifications of legalized recreational marijuana.

"There are a lot of questions, a lot of unknowns and I think it's
important that we try to come up with a 'made in Brantford' solution
to some of these issues," Mayor Chris Friel said Tuesday.

"I think we need to hear from more people, let them know what the
issues are and see what we can come up with.

"We need to hear from the chamber of commerce, the health unit,
police, real estate people as well as our own staff in social services
and bylaw enforcement."

Friel made the comments as the first meeting Tuesday of council's
cannabis task force. At present, the task force comprises Friel, Ward
4 Coun. Richard Carpenter and Ward 1 Coun. Larry Kings.

Plans call for a workshop to be held in late March with
representatives of various community groups, including the
Brantford-Brant Chamber of Commerce, the Brantford Regional Real
Estate Association, Brant County Health Unit and the Brant, Brantford
Six Nations Impaired and Distracted Driving Advisory Committee.

The federal government introduced legislation last April with a goal
of legalizing and regulating the recreational use of pot by July 1.
That target will not be met because of delays passing legislation in
the Senate.

Ottawa also has left it up to the provinces to design their own
marijuana distribution systems and usage regulations.

Ontario became the first province to announce a detailed plan to sell
and distribute recreational marijuana and legislators in December
passed a bill that would establish a framework for legalization. At
that time, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said he wanted to
ensure municipalities are not "out of pocket" for a legalization plan
they didn't create.

Under the province's plan, a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of
Ontario will run the marijuana retail stores and the agency itself
will oversee the process to establish locations.

City officials learned in December that Brantford will be getting a
government-run marijuana store this summer.

Brantford wasn't on the original list of 14 cities to get pot shops
that was announced in November.

While they doubt the time frame set by the federal government, local
officials have no doubt that legalized recreational weed soon will be
a reality. And they are looking for ways to deal with the consequences
and questions that arise as a result of legalized recreational pot.

Although consumption of legal pot is to be confined to private
residences and not allowed in public areas or workplaces, Carpenter
expressed concern about people using marijuana in public parks.

Another concern is consumption of marijuana in apartment

Questions were raised about restrictions that would be permitted on
the growth of marijuana plants in homes or backyards.

The city also wants to know what steps can be taken if other pot shops
or dispensaries open.

Kings, a member of the impaired and distracted driving advisory
committee, said members of that committee are concerned about
enforcement around the use of legalized marijuana. For example, police
services will need properly trained officers and special equipment to
measure impairment, he said.

City officials plan to hold public information meetings following the
March workshop.
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