A Sidney resident concerned about the effects of marijuana use wants councillors to heed the advice from public health officials as she argues against plans for what would be Sidney’s first recreational cannabis retail location.
Gail Hazlehurst said she opposes plans for a recreational cannabis outlet in the 2400 block of Beacon Avenue because it is an inappropriate location.
“This location may give the impression that Sidney is promoting and normalizing those recreational cannabis products with high THC levels (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes a high) that will be sold there,” she said in a statement to the Peninsula News Review.
Hazlehurst was also among the opponents when the project first appeared before council in late October, having spoken twice against the proposal during the public participation period. At that time, Hazlehurst called cannabis a gateway drug and called for additional research on its health effects.
While comments ran 3 to 1 in favour of the proposal from Cindy Pendergast and Brad Styles during that meeting, councillors denied their application by a 4-3 margin on grounds that the proposed business did not meet existing storefront guidelines requiring transparent windows. The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCRB) at the time required opaque window coverings, a requirement since dropped. This conflict triggered a legal dispute with a court ruling in favour of the applicants.
Sidney councillors will now reconsider the application later this month.
Interested parties have until 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18 to submit written comments to the Town of Sidney, which has scheduled a special public participation period for Monday, Sept. 28, during council’s regular meeting starting at 6 p.m.
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