Halifax rolls out more designated smoking areas ahead of cannabis legalization – Halifax

Halifax unveiled more designated smoking areas on Tuesday, with at least 31 now marked on the municipality’s map as of 10:45 a.m.

There are several locations on the Halifax peninsula. Downtown has experienced a growth of the areas, with at least four cropping up on Argyle Street.

The designated smoking areas are the Halifax Regional Municipality’s response to the impending legalization of cannabis.  Halifax Regional Council amended its existing Nuisance Bylaw to prohibit smoking of any kind on municipal property, except in specially designated areas. It’s now called the Smoking and Nuisance Bylaw.

Haligonians are still able to light up on private property, but the bylaw prohibits smoking or vaping any substance on municipal property except within three metres of these specifically designated areas.

READ MORE: Halifax councillor David Hendsbee takes matters into own hands, moves designated smoking area away from school

More are expected to be introduced in the coming days, with the municipality telling Global News on Friday that it had received 50 applications from businesses throughout the municipality.

There will be no cap on the number of designated smoking areas.

A screenshot of the Halifax Regional Municipality designated smoking area map on Oct. 16, 2018.

Halifax Regional Municipality

The municipality is still accepting applications, and businesses are required to provide a description of the proposed designated smoking area and a rationale for their request.

The response to the designated smoking areas has been mixed, with critics and councillors pointing out how the municipality has restricted something that was already legal.

“I’m sorry to folks, especially cigarette smokers, who are smoking something that’s always been legal,” said Matt Whitman, councillor for Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets, on Monday.

Whitman voted against the bylaw amendment and said that the rollout has been poorly executed.

The decision to restrict smoking and vaping came in response to the legalization of cannabis, set for Oct. 17.

The bylaw was scheduled to come into effect on Oct. 1, but was delayed due to logistical issues.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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