December 5, 2018 Posted by Books in Chamber Events & News, CHAMBER NEWS, Community Updates

Do We Support Cannabis Retail in West Grey?

Licensed stores will open on April 1, 2019. The province has been operating on-line cannabis retail since October 17th.

Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) supports private cannabis retail for the jobs and economic benefits it can offer to communities. However, municipalities and the communities they serve will experience the impacts of cannabis legalization first-hand. While the province will control licensing and siting of stores, AMO believes that the licensing process and on-going store operations must reflect community and local government concerns for the industry to be successful. The AGCO will have a 15-day comment period for the public, communities and municipal governments to provide input on proposed locations before granting a license.

Municipal governments can opt out of cannabis sales in their communities by January 22, 2019. Councils will need additional information to make informed decisions in the best interests of their communities. Councils that opt out of private sales can opt back in at a later, yet to be stated, date. All municipal governments will receive at least $10,000 to support transition to legal cannabis and the province will announce the full funding allocation in the future.

The legislation will require cannabis stores to observe minimum distances from schools in place of local planning controls. Beyond the 15-day commentary period, it is uncertain how the license process may address other local sensitivities. In addition to private cannabis retail stores, the Ministers announced that the province would harmonize cannabis with the current rules for places of use for tobacco under the Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2006.

AMO will be analysing the legislation and regulation making authority in the coming days and will advise members further as the regulatory process unfolds.

With the tight Provincial timelines (Jan 22, 2019) for Municipalities to decide to OPT IN or OUT of Cannabis Retail locations; West Grey would benefit from community input. My understanding is that if a municipality OPTS OUT – they are not eligible for funding derived from cannabis taxes

A letter from Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance, to Jamie McGarvey, President of Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Please, this is your community, let your West Grey Council know your opinion on this matter.