West Nipissing council rejects proposed bylaw aimed at controlling cannabis odour
NORTH BAY -- West Nipissing council has voted against a proposed bylaw to force growers to limit the smell of legal cannabis plants.
That means you don't have to control the odour coming from your cannabis plants -- at least for now.
"It's only been a year or a year and a half that people have been growing it," said Ward 7 Coun. Jeremy Seguin, who voted against the proposed bylaw. "People are going to have to start getting used to the smell."
The idea was brought forward by Coun. Lise Senecal in May, saying it would help avoid confrontations in neighbourhoods and compared it to a nuisance bylaw.
She said she received a complaint about the smell in one area. When she checked it out, she said the odour was so strong, she felt like she got "high."
That comment drew strong criticism from the community and she has since apologized.
"I took that complaint seriously as a councillor and I tried to help," said Senecal, in a phone interview with CTV News. "That was my goal and I achieved it."
Meanwhile, Seguin called the bylaw a "pre-emptive attack" on a legal substance aimed at "demonizing" cannabis.
"It's a stigma that stays attached to the plant," said Seguin. "So, whether you're growing a lilac or cutting your lawn, we have a whole bunch of scents when you're in a municipality."
The city has received four complaints about cannabis smell in the past year. Senecal says with her bylaw idea defeated, she wants either the provincial or federal government to pass a law to regulate the odour.
"I support the legislation but, again, supporting the legislation and the right of people doesn't mean I won't support the rights of somebody else," said Senecal.