HALIFAX—After listening to considerations that the brand new guidelines had been each too permissive and never permissive sufficient, regional council voted unanimously in favour of adopting bylaw amendments governing hashish manufacturing amenities in Halifax.
The land-use bylaw amendments are the third algorithm council has thought-about forward of hashish legalization on Oct. 17. The controversial Smoking and Nuisance Bylaw goes to second studying early subsequent month, and the amended parks bylaw, banning smoking in parks, handed second studying earlier this summer season.
After a public listening to Tuesday night time, council handed bylaw amendments to control the place hashish manufacturing amenities might be positioned within the municipality. In addition they ban hashish retail and consumption storefronts that aren’t run by the Nova Scotia Liquor Company (NSLC), which has a monopoly over hashish gross sales from provincial laws.
Eight individuals spoke on the public listening to. Some had been absolutely in favour of the bylaws, however the majority had considerations about permitting hashish manufacturing amenities in rural areas.
The bylaw amendments permit hashish manufacturing amenities of all sizes in industrial zones; of restricted dimension in rural mixed-use zones that permit industrial or intensive agricultural makes use of; and of micro dimension (a most of 200 sq. metres, processing a most of 600 kg yearly) in rural mixed-use zones that don’t permit industrial makes use of. The federal authorities approves and regulates the amenities, and requires lighting and safety. The municipality’s solely concern is the place they go.
Just a few individuals from the Jap Shore spoke on the assembly, saying they don’t imagine rural areas are appropriate for hashish manufacturing, which they noticed as a purely industrial use.
“They don’t belong anyplace close to the nation, even you probably have 500 acres,” mentioned Robert Tilden of Nice Harbour, the place there’s a planning software underway for a manufacturing facility.
“These items are industrial. They don’t seem to be farms and folks must get that by their heads. The safety mandated by the feds turns them into fairly prisons.”
Jamie Tingley of Cow Bay instructed council he needs to create his personal manufacturing facility, however not a type of “fairly prisons.”
“I wish to develop natural hashish within the soil for the medical neighborhood and supply employment for myself and my neighborhood,” mentioned Tingley, an natural farmer who owns Off Beet Farms.
Tingley mentioned he’d been approached about rising by a hashish advisor, however planning employees instructed Tingley he’s not allowed to develop hashish on his lot in Cow Bay underneath these new bylaws. That’s as a result of he’s in a residential rural zone, employees mentioned, not a mixed-use rural zone.
Space Councillor Invoice Karsten nonetheless voted in favour of the bylaw amendments, however mentioned he had “actual concern” for Tingley’s scenario. Any amendments tabled Tuesday night time would have meant one other public listening to, so he selected to take a unique route, suggesting Tingley apply for a site-specific modification to the brand new guidelines.
“It’s an unlucky scenario, however there are a pair recourses for Mr. Tingley that employees can discuss to him about,” Karsten mentioned.
“This very properly tonight may very well be an error, when it comes to having missed the chance to incorporate Mr. Tingley and others like him, and I simply really feel unhealthy there’s nothing we are able to do tonight to accommodate him.”
There have been additionally considerations from the general public about entry for medical hashish sufferers, contemplating the ban on non-NSLC hashish storefronts, generally referred to as dispensaries.
The municipality has no energy to alter legal guidelines round dispensaries. The bylaw amendments adopted Tuesday night time comply with the province’s lead in prohibiting them, however additionally they have some flexibility in case the province decides to permit them.
Chris Enns, proprietor of the Farm Assists Medical Hashish Useful resource Centre, a dispensary in Halifax, instructed councillors that not permitting dispensaries like his would trigger “irreparable hurt” for medical hashish customers. He argued lots of them want particular hashish merchandise like extracts stronger than those to be offered by the NSLC, and edibles, the sale of which the federal authorities plans to legalize in a few yr.
“I might simply ask you to adjourn these proceedings lengthy sufficient that dispensaries in Nova Scotia and sufferers could make submissions to council on the irreparable harms that may occur if their voice just isn’t heard,” he mentioned.
Farm Assists has been raided by police earlier than, and Enns has challenged hashish legal guidelines in courtroom. It doesn’t sound like he plans on closing up store.
“If anybody needs to attempt hashish for the primary time on Oct. 17, we’ve received your again,” he referred to as out after the assembly was adjourned.
Zane Woodford is a Halifax-based reporter specializing in Metropolis Corridor. Observe him on Twitter: @zwoodford