About thirty people attended a special meeting last Thursday in Napanee on the subject of retail cannabis stores.
Napanee Mayor, Marg Isbester, said while the sentiments from the crowd measured a little more than 60 percent in favour of the town opting in, it was the regional health unit (KFL&A) that made the best presentation.
“The health unit made a very good presentation because you’re talking about smoking, because you’re talking about ingesting something that maybe was never meant for consumption and because of the side effects on it.”
Other presenters talked about edibles, enforcement during driving and there was one argument for opting out, because marijuana may have a different effect on everyone, especially for those already under the influence of alcohol.
Mayor Isbester said the turnout was good given the cold weather, with more reaction than questions on the topic from those people that attended.
She is preparing for Council to make its decision to opt in or opt out of retail cannabis at its next meeting — the deadline day for councils in Ontario to say yes or no.
“We need to have either a ‘No’ resolution that needs to be in by 10 o’clock that night or we can do nothing and I think we’ve got lots of information now. Now it’s just the time to make the decision.”
As far as the five East Region ‘winners’ of the retail cannabis licences go, Isbester did not recognize any of the names as ones from her community.
She feels it could be some time before Napanee has a retailer, depending on how the issue of product demand is resolved.