One of the graphs from the report on the public survey on Cannabis. Graph: City of Nelson

Nelson reveals cannabis survey results

1,779 people responded to the survey

Seventy-five per cent of Nelson residents think there should be a maximum number of cannabis retailers allowed in the city, a recent survey has found.

Another 75 per cent think smoking of cannabis should be banned in all public places, and 71 per cent think there should be lounges or cafes in which consumption is allowed.

Those are two of the results of the city’s cannabis survey reported at Monday’s council meeting. The survey was distributed in February to 4,959 households and 686 businesses in Nelson. The return rate was 32 per cent for households and 27 per cent for businesses, for a total of 1,779 forms received. City planner Alex Thumm says that as far as public surveys go, that’s a good response rate.

“The statistical significance of our survey is superior to that of most opinion polls or studies that get published,” he said.

Detailed survey results are attached below.

Other notable results:

  • On the question of operating hours for cannabis retailers, opinions were split but 35 per cent said it should be the same as liquor stories.
  • 43 per cent think people should be able to grow cannabis outdoors, and 23 per cent said only inside.
  • 45 per cent said retailers should be at least five blocks from schools, parks and playgrounds, and 27 per cent said at least three blocks, while other responses were more lenient or were unsure.
  • Asked whether they hope to start a cannabis business once it is legalized, three per cent (56) said yes and seven per cent (133) said they were unsure.
  • 74 per cent support legalization of cannabis use in Canada, 22 per cent oppose it, and four per cent were unsure.

At Monday’s meeting, city planner Pam Mierau said most of the laws about cannabis will be provincial and federal, but municipalities will be responsible for zoning, business licenses, public consumption and public cultivation. She said this raises some basic questions that council will have to answer in future meetings, based on the public feedback.

  • How far apart should retail outlets be, how far must they be from schools, parks, and playgrounds, and should there be a maximum number of stores? These questions are interrelated, and Mierau showed council maps of a number of options illustrating how the stricter the requirements, the fewer locations would be possible because of the compact nature of the city.
  • What limits should be placed on public consumption? “Sixty-two per cent said it should follow the Clean Air Bylaw,” Mierau said, “and we could go further and say no public consumption, and there was strong public support for that.” The Clean Air Bylaw prohibits smoking within seven metres of a public entrance and in parks.
  • What operating hours should be allowed? The public feedback was evenly balanced between requiring the same hours as liquor stores (9 a.m. to 11 p.m.), the same as medical cannabis (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), or more restrictive.
  • Should residents be allowed to grow cannabis outside on private property? The options, based on public feedback, Mierau said, would be to go with the provincial regulations (plants not visible from public spaces) or to be more restrictive.

Council received the survey results on Monday but made no decisions. They will grapple with the above questions over the next couple of months in order to have regulations in place by the summer.

Depending on upcoming decisions by Nelson council and the provincial and federal governments, Nelson’s current medical dispensaries might have to re-apply for licenses under new laws and regulations.

In addition to the survey to residents and businesses, the city set up a variety of information booths, open houses, a website, and small group meetings with stakeholder groups.

For example, the survey report states that in those consultations, the business community, the social services sector and the police all felt that there should be a limited number of cannabis stores and no public consumption.

Details of that part of the survey are also attached below.


Cannabis Survey Results by BillMetcalfe on Scribd

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Not business as usual as Nelson slowly reopens

Local owners talk about the pandemic has changed how they operate

City of Nelson takes over farmers’ markets from EcoSociety

Markets start June 13 and will be run by the Nelson and District Youth Centre

School District announces Rick Hansen Foundation difference-maker award winners

Creston student Alexis Folk and Nelson teacher Chris Mieske recognized by the Rick Hansen Foundation

Nelson offers financing for homeowners to purchase electric bikes

Loan payments will be applied to hydro bills as part of the EcoSave home retrofit program

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read