Municipalities want to hear from residents about cannabis

Municipalities across Simcoe County are turning to residents for their input on whether cannabis retail stores should be allowed to operate in their municipality. Municipalities have until Jan. 22 to decide if they would like to opt-in or opt-out of legalizing cannabis stores in town.

On Oct. 17, the use of cannabis became legal in Canada, but in Ontario, cannabis can currently only be purchased from the online Ontario Cannabis Store. Retail outlets (storefronts) will be permitted effective April 1 through a tightly-regulated licensing process by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Municipalities that permit retail establishments in their communities will be provided additional government funding.

Cannabis can be harmful. However, private cannabis retail outlets create jobs, increase local investment in communities and provide local access to safe, legal cannabis. This is an important decision and that’s why municipalities want your feedback.

In Innisfil an online survey is now available at getinvolvedinnisfil.ca/cannabis until Dec. 31.

“This is a huge decision that we want to make with the community and it’s important that residents let us know about their stance before a final decision is made next year,” said Nick Skerratt, project lead. “It’s this critical consultation that will help guide informed decision making and ensure that we make a choice that reflects the wants, needs and safety of residents.”

Community consultation results will be brought to council on Jan. 9 to help make their decision.

Check your municipality’s website to find out their plans for retail cannabis outlets in your community.

Rick Proctor photo

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