ANTIGONISH: Rules governing the use and possession of cannabis at schools and in various municipalities are being established around the region.
Students attending St. Francis Xavier University are able to smoke cannabis on campus as long as they’re not inside of a building and at least 20-metres away from any entrance or air-intake vents.
Cindy MacKenzie, a spokeswoman for StFX, said in an e-mail the university took a harm-reduction approach for education on safe use guidelines.
“It is still the expectation that students, staff and faculty who are working, or attending class, or a university event are not under the influence of any substance, alcohol or cannabis,” she said. “Our policy focuses on the secondary impacts to the community.”
Last week, recreational cannabis became legal across the country, and in Nova Scotia, 12 Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation locations are handling the task of distributing legal cannabis, including the Antigonish outlet.
On the first day of legalization, the NSLC sold over $660,000 in cannabis sales through 12,800 transactions.
StFX’s cannabis policy encompasses possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes. It applies to all staff and faculty employed by the university and also applies to students attending campus for class and/or living in residence on campus.
“In addition to the provincial regulations, cannabis products of any kind are not permitted in academic or administrative buildings on campus at any time,” the policy reads. “While in the workplace, attending events, classes, meetings, or other university sanctioned activities, students, staff and faculty are expected to be unimpaired.”
Growing cannabis is legal, however, it is not permitted in residence or anywhere on campus due to the inability to control impact on the environment and utilities.
The Nova Scotia Community College has taken a different approach; students attending the Strait Area Campus are not allowed to smoke cannabis on campus.
Officials with different municipalities within the Strait area have decided to let the cannabis linger and adopt a wait-and-see approach in regards to issuing any cannabis by-laws.
Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said the town doesn’t have enough information of what it’s going to be like in order construct any by-laws.
The Town of Antigonish anticipates the first couple of days and weeks to having “a lot of excitement” but they expect it will die down and won’t be much different than it is now.
After October’s regular municipal council meeting last Wednesday, Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts said nothing had been presented to councillors yet, but staff should be working on it.
“We don’t want this to turn around and bite us from behind,” he said. “We’re well aware it’s happened, it’s now the law- we’ve been in close contact with the RCMP, the liquor commission- we know the terms and rules of engagement.”