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Town of Bonnyville hosts Cannabis forum

When Cannabis becomes legal, how will it affect you? That’s what was the topic of discussion at last nights Cannabis open house at the Town Administration building in Bonnyville. Town council opened their doors and their minds to the public on a variety of topics. Signage and advertising, distances of Cannabis shops from schools and hospitals and more were up for discussion.

Town of Bonnyville CAO Mark Power says when it comes to the 100 metre distance shops will have between parks and schools, council wants to gauge whether to stick with the province or try something different.

“Council is looking at increasing that to 150 or 200, so that would be the main thing that they’re seeking feedback to.”

Power says Bonnyville sign rules are fairly liberal, and gauging the public to decide what will be allowed is a great way to clear up an issue before it becomes one. A board was set up to allow people to place dots on points they agreed with council, and some they did not. Powers says the meeting saw a wide spectrum of opinions

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“It’s been everything from ‘we should be totally open and realistic to the rules we establish and we shouldn’t make it too hard to open up a store’. On the other side we’ve had ‘we shouldn’t allow it in town at all’.”

The doors were open on the meeting from about 3 until 7 pm yesterday. Council said about nine or ten members of the community had stopped in by 5 pm. One resident on hand was very impressed by what he saw with the information being displayed, but still had questions on some of the bylaws.

“I think it’s very well thought out, to be honest with you. I don’t understand the restrictions, the 100 metres from hospital and parks. That restriction isn’t there for alcohol and I look at both being the same for retail.”

CAO Mark Power says the concerns will now go before council as well as the first reading of the bylaw at next Tuesdays meeting. Another public meeting is planned for June 12th.

A few residents have a look at the displays Bonnyville town council had out at the Cannabis meeting last night – Photo by Mike Marshall
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