A Brampton city councillor doesn’t want cannabis to be sold at local stores.
Councillor Charmaine Williams posted her opposition on her Facebook page, saying that this week, city council will be debating the issue of cannabis retail stores.
“I will be moving a motion to ‘Opt Out’ of the retail sales regime,” Williams said. According to her “Not in Our Neighbourhood” campaign, 70% of residents said they do not want any retail sales in Brampton.
But that isn’t necessarily what the City of Brampton is recommending.
Brampton’s City Council documents for the December 5 meeting shows staff recommending they “Opt In” for cannabis retail.
“Given findings from the public feedback, provincial funding formula, increased enforcement and the fact that legal recreational cannabis is readily available for purchase online, staff recommends council to “opt in” to allow private cannabis retail stores to operate in Brampton in order to maximize funding allocation to help offset costs and reduce potential tax impacts on Brampton citizens,” states the document.
Right now in Ontario, it is only legal to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).
Starting in April, cannabis will be available for purchase at private retail stores licensed by the province.
In Brampton, cannabis can be consumed wherever tobacco is allowed to be smoked subject to the requirements of the Smoke Free Ontario Act and Region of Peel Smoking By-law.
The City of Brampton has until January 22 to determine whether legally licensed cannabis retailers can to operate within its municipal boundaries.
Stores would only be located within areas that are zoned to permit retail establishments, and will need to observe a minimum distance of 150 metres from schools.
There will be no cap on the number of retail stores in communities choosing to allow them.
Earlier this year, Markham City Council passed a local cannabis bylaw prohibiting smoking pot outside of private residences.
According to the bylaw, “no person shall smoke or vaporize Cannabis, or hold or otherwise use lit cannabis in any public place, including but not limited to” areas like municipal parks, public parking lots, community centres, roads and highways, schools, shopping centres, and “any other location or area owned by the city.”