City exploring legality of proposed cannabis consumption patio

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A member of Windsor City Council is asking city administration for more information on the legality of cannabis consumption patios.

Ward 6 Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac has been receiving complaints from residents over an application for an unidentified cannabis retail outlet on Wyandotte Street in the Riverside area, that includes a proposal for a consumption patio attached to the site.

Gignac wants to know what kind of zoning tools the municipality has to address the consumption portion of the application.

"This is a new animal for me and it's important that we all around the council table understand whether or not we will be able to zone specifically for consumption of a legal product," says Gignac.

She says it's the province of Ontario that issues a licence for a retail cannabis operation but has asked city administration for a clarification on the rules when it comes to consumption.

"I have not heard previously of a consumption site connected with a retail outlet," she says.

Gignac feels municipalities have the right to institute zones.

"I think it's important that council understand what tools we might have in regard to regulating something like this, so a consumption site," says Gignac.  "I do believe that municipalities have the legal right to establish zones for those."

According to the Government of Ontario's website concerning cannabis laws, you cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

- in restaurants and on bar patios and public areas within 9 metres of a patio
- on outdoor grounds of specified Ontario government office buildings
- in reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations
- on grounds of community recreational facilities and public areas within 20 metres of those grounds
in sheltered outdoor areas with a roof and more than two walls which the public or employees frequent, or are invited to (for example, a bus shelter)