Lake 88.1 Perth Logo - Today's Local Radio

Local News

Smiths Falls backing ambitious cannabis pilot program

by | Feb 13, 2019 | Local News | 2 comments

Smiths Falls council is embracing the idea of becoming a Cannabis Pilot project.

“Smiths Falls has been leading the way on the Cannabis front for five years now, and I think we should continue to do so,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow.

The idea is to license a variety of spaces in town for Cannabis research – including bakeries, restaurants, spas, bars and vapor lounges that would  gather metrics on how people respond to various products and levels of consumption, and then develop best practices that can be applied nationally explained Nathaniel Morris, founder of William Bond Ai, developers of artificial intelligence supporting the Cannabis industry.

The idea, according to Morris, would be to apply regulations that are being considered by the provincial and federal governments and collect data to better inform those policies.

“There isn’t a lot of data to go with, and what I’m proposing, is that we make the decision-making more data driven,” said Morris.

The example Morris gave council is the current dilemma at the Strategic Policy Directorate Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Branch on how much THC should be allowed in edible cannabis products.

“The research infrastructure that Smiths Falls wants to create will allow us to test the effects of making the products containing THC levels at 2.5mg, 5mg, 10 mg, 15mg etc, as well as the impact of adding CBD,” said Morris in his presentation to Committee on Monday February 11th.

Licensed businesses dealing in cannabis consumables within the town would be required to collect the relevant data for the duration of the study.

“This would be a field experiment and it could revolutionize our understanding of cannabis,” said Morris.

The proposal was well received by the committee.

“It’s a modest idea but a grand scheme,” said Councillor Peter McKenna, “I tried to research it and the only similar pilot I could find was the Basic Income pilot project.”

“That’s a pretty good analogy,” agreed Morris, “we see the influx of cannabis tourists to Smiths falls as a form of “naturally occurring science experiment”.

Participants in the study would have to give their consent and sign an agreement.  However this is all still in the inception stages, Health Canada has not proposed a pilot project, the idea is being initiated by Morris and William Bond Ai, so all they’re asking from the town right now is a letter of interest.

“Canopy Growth is intrigued by the concept and Nate [Morris] has demonstrated it makes a lot of sense,” said Pankow.

Should the Ministry express interest in the idea, there will be public consultations prior to implementation, according to Mayor Pankow.

Like and Share This Story!



  1. Jay

    Say good-bye to the heritage and history value and reputation of this town and area if cannabis is allowed to take a more prominent stage. Not everyone is in favor or smokes/consumes cannabis – Many will think twice about moving here with their children if it is to become such a driving force for the cannabis industry. Hopefully council will not let dollar signs cloud their judgement, but will take a sober, second thought to remember what made this area what it is today and do the right thing to protect the heritage and historical value that will surely become lost in the haze of cannabis tourism.

    • Merten

      Dear Jay… So much drama and negativity. The history of Smiths Falls will always be ‘the history of Smiths Falls’. Tripping down memory lane doesn’t benefit SF in any way. I certainly hope that council will continue on this path to create jobs in the cannabis industry. They are doing the right thing, and they are creating jobs.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In Focus Sidebar on Lake 88

Copyright © 2019 Lake 88. All rights reserved.