Smiths Falls backing ambitious cannabis pilot program
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.
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