Many people were left shocked following Oakville’s recent decision to opt out of having cannabis stores in the town.
The decision to opt out and not allow privately-operated cannabis retail stores in Oakville was made at a Council meeting last night (Jan. 14).
Municipalities had until Jan. 22 to decide whether they would opt in or out.
“Town Council’s vote to opt-out reflects what we have heard throughout our community,” Mayor Rob Burton, said in a recent press release.
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“We are supporting a wait and watch approach at this time. Municipalities just don’t have enough input into cannabis retail stores when it comes to notice, location, zoning and licensing. We have asked staff to report back to us by December 2019 to reconsider our decision once more detailed information on cannabis retail stores becomes available.”
The town, according to the press release, will provide written notice of the decision to opt out to the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), in accordance with the Cannabis License Act, 2018.
So far, the only municipality that has decided to opt into having retail stores is Burlington. Milton has also decided to opt out and Halton Hills has not yet made its decision.
When it comes to other areas within the GTA, Mississauga has opted out and Brampton is still deliberating.
The province isn’t allowing municipalities to control the locations of cannabis stores through zoning rules. Municipalities are also unable to limit the number of stores it has.
Private retail cannabis store licensing and operations are controlled by the AGCO.
The province isenforcing a 150-metre buffer between retail stores and schools. These stores will have to undergo a pre-inspection by the AGCO and showcase a provincial authorization sticker.
Sales will be restricted to those who are 19 years of age and older.
Stores will be allowed to operate between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. (daily).
The maximum number of stores, according to the press release, per operator in the province has been set at 75.
The private retail model will launch April 1, 2019.
What do you think of Oakville’s decision?