Lee Goodwin totes a marijuana flag at a 4/20 rally held at Rotary Peace Park in 2016. Goodwin is questioning why a marijuana dispensary must be located in the industrial area, when tobacco and alcohol are sold on Main Street. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Delegate blunt about proposed location of cannabis retail stores

‘Marijuana has had a stigma of being a bad thing’

You can buy alcohol and tobacco on Main Street in Whitehorse — Lee Goodwin wants to know why, then, a government-run cannabis retail location might be tucked away in the city’s industrial end.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the last couple days, this has become a major issue,” Goodwin told city council this week.

“Marijuana has had a stigma of being a bad thing.”

Goodwin appeared before Whitehorse City Council Jan. 15 after city administration recommended last week that cannabis sales be restricted to the Marwell neighbourhood in Whitehorse.

A zoning amendment is being brought forward to authorize sales under “retail services, restricted.” The bylaw proposes changes to existing definitions to exclude that use from other retail locations.

Council passed first reading of that bylaw.

Goodwin, who uses cannabis medically, has a licence to grow for himself and others, though he isn’t actively growing because he doesn’t have a facility.

He said Marwell isn’t conveniently located for many in Whitehorse.

“I and a lot of people would ask you to reconsider that,” he said, adding that while he thinks a government location or compound in Marwell makes sense, limited storefront activity does not.

Councillor Betty Irwin said she too would be disappointed to see the sale of cannabis restricted to one location. She said she would rather have seen it treated the same as other restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco.

One way it will be treated similarly is when it comes to rental units.

Under the proposed rules, landlords may restrict smoking at rental properties, the same way they do with cigarettes.

Yukon Housing said it doesn’t allow smoking in units on the Yukon Housing Corporation lease. Cannabis will be included under its current smoke-free policy.

According to the Yukon Department of Community Services, which is responsible for the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, references to “smoking” in tenancy agreements would likely be interpreted to include the smoking of cannabis once it is legal.

“Though our office would not likely uphold an outright restriction on consumption of cannabis, limitations on smoking within a tenancy agreement, similar to that of cigarettes would likely be upheld,” spokesperson Bonnie Venton Ross said in an email.

“The exception to this would be an allowance for medical consumption which would be governed by the Yukon Human Rights Act.”

Once the territory’s cannabis laws are passed, the residential tenancies office will be releasing policy on cannabis “to give landlords and tenants clarity and finality on the issue,” she said.

A public hearing on the city’s proposed bylaw change will be held during council’s Feb. 12 meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Cannabis LegislationYukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the RCMP’s traffic services team examine police markers on Range Road after a six-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle near the Takhini Arena in Whitehorse on Oct. 25. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Six-year-old hit by vehicle near Takhini Arena

Police were called to the scene around 12:15 p.m. on Oct. 25

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. Two new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Watson Lake over the weekend. The cases are connected to three others in the community previously announced by officials on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two additional COVID-19 cases in Watson Lake bring total up to five

Individuals with symptoms and connections to the three other cases were tested over the weekend

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

Teagan Wiebe, left, and Amie Wiebe pose for a photo with props during The Guild’s haunted house dress rehearsal on Oct. 23. The Heart of Riverdale Community Centre will be hosting its second annual Halloween haunted house on Oct. 30 and 31, with this year’s theme being a plague. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Plague-themed haunted house to take over Heart of Riverdale for Halloween

A plague will be descending upon the Heart of Riverdale Community Centre… Continue reading

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging the reduction of its caribou quota to zero. (Yukon News file)
YG replies to outfitter’s legal challenge over caribou quota

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging… Continue reading

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this year, saying that with COVID-19, it’s “more important than ever.” (Black Press file)
Get flu vaccine, Yukon government urges

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

asdf
COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading