Oakville and Burlington Set to Receive Marijuana Money From the Province
When the province announced that a number of major Ontario cities would be home to cannabis stores, some mayors wondered if their cities would be given some funding to manage the retail outlets.
Now, it looks like the province is indeed listening to municipalities.
The Ontario government recently announced that it is "stepping up support for municipalities and law enforcement to help ensure communities and roads are safe in advance of the federal government’s legalization of cannabis."
The province says it will provide $40 million of its revenue from the federal excise duty on cannabis over two years to help all municipalities with implementation costs related to the legalization of marijuana.
The province also recently announced that the LCBO, which will be operating the upcoming cannabis retail outlets, has unveiled the name and logo for the stores.
In case you forgot, this is the new name and logo:
As the newly minted OCS explains, the name is designed to “convey a safe, simple and approachable environment for consumers, and agency employees, in a clear and easily understood manner.”
The LCBO said they paid $650,000 to come up with the new logo.
The OCS has also confirmed that Shopify will be powering the in-store and online sales channels for them. Shopify’s software is designed to support businesses who sell across multiple channels, including mobile, social media, brick-and-mortar shops and more.
As for what Ontario is doing for cities, the province says it's taking steps to ensure a "safe and sensible transition for communities and people" by:
- Increasing the capacity of local law enforcement, including the Ontario Provincial Police, by funding sobriety field test training for police officers to help detect impaired drivers
- Creating a specialized legal team to support drug-impaired driving prosecutions
- Increasing capacity at the province’s Centre of Forensic Sciences to support toxicological testing and expert testimony
- Developing a program to divert youth involved in minor cannabis-related offences away from the criminal justice system
- Creating a Cannabis Intelligence Coordination Centre to shut down illegal storefronts and help fight the unsafe and illegal supply of cannabis products
- Providing public health units with support and resources to help address local needs related to cannabis legalization
- Raising awareness of the new provincial rules that will take effect when cannabis is legalized federally.
- Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
The province says funding will be distributed to municipalities on a per household basis, adjusted to ensure that each municipal government receives no less than $10,000.
If the province's portion of the revenue from federal excise duty on recreational cannabis for the first two years of legalization exceeds $100 million, the province will provide municipal governments with 50 per cent of the surplus.
The province says the Ontario Cannabis Act includes will discourage illegal cannabis activities through a number of means, including high fines for individuals or corporations convicted of illegal selling or distribution, tough provincial penalties for driving while impaired and zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers who drive with cannabis in their system.
"Today marks an important step in our commitment to deliver a safe and sensible framework for the federal legalization of cannabis," says Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance.
"Ontario's funding approach, developed in partnership with AMO and the City of Toronto, will provide municipalities with access to funding in advance of federal excise revenues. Ontario will work collaboratively with municipalities and the federal government to continue gathering data on the incremental costs of implementation."
Oakville and Burlington will both be home to OCS locations, but it is not yet known exactly where the stores will take shape.
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