Matt Maurer was quoted in StratCann

Despite constitutional concerns, northern Ontario city seeks to limit homegrown cannabis.

A small city in northern Ontario is looking to establish bylaws to control where people can grow cannabis, despite some concerns that such a bylaw could be unconstitutional.

Matt Maurer was quoted in StratCann.

Matt Maurer, the co-chair of the Cannabis Law Group and a litigator with Torkin Manes LLP, says he doesn’t see any potential legal challenges when it comes to Elliot Lake establishing land-use bylaws. However, if the bylaw effectively prevents someone from being able to grow cannabis entirely, he notes there would be legal challenges similar to the concerns raised by Dean.

“By-laws pertaining to how land can be used (including cultivating cannabis) are generally within the purview of a municipality, notes Maurer. “There is an argument, though, that if the rules effectively prohibit people from cultivating at home (for example if their property is not large enough), then it is contradictory to the federal and provincial rule which allows home cultivation.”

He also says the part of the bylaw that says cannabis must be kept out of sight and reach of anywhere children may congregate could also outstep a municipality’s jurisdiction. 

“The federal government has allowed cultivation within a dwelling house and explicitly gave the provinces and territories the right to modify that right. Neither the federal nor the provincial government has delegated to municipalities the right to impose further rules on how people must treat the plant within the property when those rules appear to have no relation to land use itself. It would be an interesting court case to follow if the by-law was challenged on constitutional grounds and could potentially be struck down.”

Read the full article here.

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