“The Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) has partnered with Michael J. Armstrong, an associate professor in the Goodman School of Business at Brock University, to explore the business realities of the emerging cannabis industry. Notwithstanding its business focus, this policy brief raises serious questions for municipalities across the country. For the Niagara region, which has seen a wave of interest in cannabis growing, one central consideration is land-use. Municipalities are generally expected and required by law to regulate and strategically manage land-use to advance the economic, environmental, social, and aesthetic welfare of the local community. Not only do these objectives often conflict, but each dimension has multiple interests and stakeholders that contend with each other. With the cannabis industry’s emergence in Niagara, new battle lines may appear over growing and processing site locations, greenhouse conversions, and repurposing of farmlands.
While this brief’s discussion centres on the operational business issues of cannabis product quality, consumer satisfaction, and black-market competition, municipalities simultaneously are making strategic decisions about economic, ecological, social, and aesthetic land-use planning. They are also contending with this emerging industry’s implications for tourism, agribusiness, and bio-life sciences. Similarly, post-secondary institutions need to be part of deliberations about workforce development, entrepreneurship training, and industry-related research and innovation.” – Charles Conteh, Director, Niagara Community Observation
Published By: Niagara Community Observation
Publication Date: April 2018