Riverside residents ‘very concerned’ by rumor of a cannabis use yard

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Residents are irritated by rumors that a soon-to-open cannabis store in the Olde Riverside shopping area will have a potentially spicy feature: an outdoor consumer patio.

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“The consumption part got me,” Ward 6 Coun said. Jo-Anne Gignac, who on Monday made a formal request to the administration to delve into what power the city has to control such use.

He said the proposed location is on Wyandotte Street East within the boundaries of the Olde Riverside Business Improvement Association. He said that, as far as he knows, a cannabis store with a consumer yard would be the first in the area.

“Right now this is something that is bouncing around the Riverside area and is of great concern to residents who live near this, so I think it is prudent that we get some advice from the legal department,” Gignac said after the Monday meeting.

The BIA area consists of a commercial strip in Wyandotte with “houses right next to it, both north and south,” he said, referring to adjacent residential streets.

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“When it comes to consumption, there are problems with passive inhalation of cannabis smoke that severely affects people with respiratory problems.”

There has been a proliferation of cannabis shops locally since the first one opened in the spring of 2020, and the city of Windsor has had very little control over where these private, province-licensed operations can go. But this last possible wrinkle, having a patio where outdoor consumption of the product would be allowed, led Gignac to inquire with the city’s legal department about ways to regulate such use through zoning.

By Monday morning, he hadn’t been able to get the information he was looking for, so he asked the question at the end of Monday’s council meeting, putting the wheels in motion for a formal answer.


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