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Legal Marijuana in Canada

Homegrown pot will be biggest municipal headache, guide says

pot municipal headache featured - Homegrown pot will be biggest municipal headache, guide says

Cannawide marijuana dispensary is raided by Toronto Police officers in Toronto on Thursday, May 26, 2016. Toronto Police issued warnings a month ago to numerous dispensaries operating outside of current Canadian marijuana laws and as part of Project Claudia are now raiding the shops.COLE BURSTON / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Toronto’s municipal licensing and standards department is reviewing city bylaws to see if changes are needed to deal with the “potential impacts” that people growing legal marijuana may have on neighbouring tenants or properties.

Mark Sraga, director of investigation services for the licensing department, said he doesn’t anticipate cannabis home-grow operations to have a significant impact on municipal bylaws when the law permits people to grow the drug this summer.

“Under Health Canada rules, people are allowed to grow medicinal marijuana in their houses,” he said. “I don’t see how growing four plants necessarily having any impact considering the fact I’ve seen some personal designation grow licences for hundreds of plants.”

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Marijuana plants are pictured during a tour of Tweed Inc. in Smiths Falls, Ont., on Thursday, January 21, 2016. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities last week released a cannabis legalization guide that highlights provisions which will allow people to grow  up to four marijuana plants as problematic.

Mayor John Tory is backing the city’s review of current bylaws.

“When it comes to marijuana legalization, the mayor has maintained that three things were important to the City of Toronto: neighbourhood safety, public health, and ensuring Toronto doesn’t get burdened with the additional costs created by these changes,” said Tory’s spokesman Don Peat.

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Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said the force will take a “wait-and-see” approach to see what the federal and provincial governments will do.

“As we have with dispensaries and others, we will continue to enforce the law,” he said.

But Abi Roach, the director of Ontario Cannabis and Consumer Retail Alliance, doesn’t believe homegrown producers will  be a headache for municipalities. Instead, she sees the lack of spaces where users can consume the plant, as a big issue.

“We’re already seeing apartment building and condo owners say, ‘If you consume in your condo or apartment, we’re going to kick you out,’” she said. “The chances of you living in private space that’s not attached to another human being’s on one wall or the other is impossible. Toronto has seven lounges. Toronto can create their own bylaws for consumption.”

Original Article – Toronto Sun

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