Should Retail Cannabis Stores Come to Oakville?
Since cannabis was legalized in Canada on Oct. 17, Ontario chose to allow recreational cannabis to be sold online through the Ontario Cannabis Store and in privately operated retail stores.
The location and operation of these private stores will be under the control of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). This private retail model is set to launch on April 1, 2019.
However, the province is allowing municipalities to make a one-time decision to opt-out of having these stores. This decision must be made by Jan. 22, 2019. Municipalities, according to a recent press release from the Town of Oakville, that choose to opt-out can opt back in at any time but that decision will be final.
The decision as to whether retail cannabis stores will be coming to the Town of Oakville has yet to be decided.
Council is now asking for feedback from residents.
"Please share your thoughts and concerns with Town Council on whether Oakville should be opting-in or opting-out of having cannabis retail stores in our community," Mayor Rob Burton said in a recent press release.
"We value your opinion and want to make an informed decision when we consider a report and vote on January 14."
If council decides to allow these stores, the AGCO will control the establishments' licensing and operations.
The province isn't allowing for municipalities to control the locations of cannabis stores through zoning rules, nor can it limit the number of stores in Oakville.
The province is however, authorizing a 150-metre buffer between the retail stores and schools.
Sales will be limited to adults who are 19 years of age and older.
Stores can be open between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily. The maximum number of stores per operator in the province has been set at 75.
If the town opts out, Oakville residents will still be able to purchase cannabis online from the Ontario Cannabis Store. Residents would also be able to purchase from a cannabis retail store in a municipality that has not opted out.
On Jan. 14, 2019, council will be debating this issue and wants to hear from residents.
Oakville residents are invited to share their opinion at the council meeting and can register as a delegate by emailing townclerk [at] oakville [dot] ca or calling 905-815-6015.
The meeting will be held in the Halton Regional Centre Council Chamber, 1151 Bronte Rd., in Oakville, at 7 p.m.
Residents can also email their feedback to townclerk [at] oakville [dot] ca.
After council has heard from the public, reviewed the data and debated the issue, a decision will be made.
Do you think retail cannabis stores should come to the Town of Oakville?
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