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Safe cannabis zones coming to events in Gravenhurst
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Safe cannabis zones coming to events in Gravenhurst

Posted: 2024-03-21 07:17:18 By: thebay

Gravenhurst approved a by-law exemption for a cannabis consumption zone for the Tall Pines Music and Arts Festival, in the March 19, 2023, Council meeting.

In her recent report about Event Administration, Director of Recreation, Arts and Culture, Shawna Patterson, indicated, “With the legal use of cannabis, some events are now seeking ways to ensure safe enjoyment of cannabis at their events, especially music festivals.”

She likened it to beer gardens in some events that allows the public to consume it in a designated area.

Tall Pines recently requested permission for a designated zone for cannabis use through a meeting that included Patterson, the By-law Department, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to discuss regulations for their upcoming event.

The event is licenced with the AGCO, and in the meeting, they advised “a safe consumption zone is permitted as long as the space is secured outside of the boundary of the AGCO licensed event and a security checkpoint is in place to ensure age of majority, [and] no outside food and beverages are brought to the space, including water.”

They added, “The space is not to be used for the sale or sampling of cannabis.”

Signs will also be mandatory for the event and provided by the SMDHU.

Patterson suggested the Town try the safety cannabis zone as a pilot this year and to see how it goes.

Councillor, Sandy Cairns, inquired, “Will smoking be included where people use cannabis?

She added that communication will be essential, so the public is aware of the exemption.

Patterson advised that considering there will be a separate gated area for cannabis use the same will apply to smoking.  

Councillor, Jo Morphy, inquired about who will be managing that waste. She asked, “Will Tall Pines be paying for ashtrays and disposables for it?

Patterson said, “All of that will be taken care of in zones by the event.”