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    Cannabis Zoning Bylaw Gets Debated at Whitehorse City Council Meeting

    The only store currently offering cannabis sales in the territory is the government-owned Cannabis Yukon store in Whitehorse.

    The bylaw up for second and third reading drew concerns from the public around cannabis stores and their proximity to parks, playgrounds and Main Street last night at city council.

    Councillors debated last night at city hall about a cannabis zoning regulations bylaw that saw concerns from residents regarding where the substance should be sold in the city.

    While the motion was carried, councillor Laura Cabott says putting additional requirements around buffer zones of where cannabis can be sold, or  implementing public feedback to keep the selling of cannabis away from Main Street or many parks, would ultimately make it almost impossible for a private retail cannabis retailer to sell their product in downtown Whitehorse.

    "The buffer approach has not captured many of the legitimate concerns in my view. Although we can't alleviate all those concerns, for example people that said no sales at all (or) putting a buffer around private homes and tourism businesses, that wouldn't make sense because we really wouldn't have retail sales in the downtown."

    Councillor Jan Stick says it's also important that the public understands that cannabis regulations will limit where people can smoke cannabis in city limits.

    "It's not like you're going to be walking down Main Street or going across a street to a park doing that (smoking cannabis). That would be against the territorial rules and act that's out there. I caution just because there's a cannabis store, people aren't going to be coming out the door and lighting up the way they do when they walk out of a corner store and light up a cigarette."

    Councillor Samson Hartland says he's hearing from residents that  the current regulations permitting the sale of cannabis sales past midnight should ultimately be changed to an earlier time.  

    "My perspective is to look at the accessible hours because that seems to be resonating with the folks that I'm talking with. There a feeling that there's no reason that people would need to be looking for those substances after midnight.  There's some comparative with jurisdictions like British Columbia that feel the same way."

    The cannabis zoning bylaw will be given second and third reading under the bylaw process later this month. 

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