Hamilton votes 10-6 to welcome private cannabis retailers

News Jan 15, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

It took a little bit of work and two votes, but Hamilton council agreed to allow cannabis stores to operate in the city.

In a 10-6 vote at a special council meeting Jan. 14, councillors also agreed to crack down on illegal dispensaries that continue to operate in the city and they urged the province to establish proper distances that pot shops can locate from parks, schools and day care centres.

“I’d much prefer to be on the legal side,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who introduced the motion. “It’s a popular product that people are already consuming.”

Councillors had previously, during the over three-hour meeting, voted 8-8 on a motion introduced by Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla, to prohibit pot shops from locating in Hamilton. A tie vote means a motion is defeated.

But in the legislative process, according to the city’s clerk, the decision meant that Hamilton had automatically allowed cannabis stores within its borders. The information prompted Stoney Creek Coun. Maria Pearson and Mountain Coun. John-Paul Danko to change their “no” vote to a “yes” allowing cannabis stores in the 10-6 subsequent motion introduced by Eisenberger.

Hamilton did launch an electronic survey on whether to allow cannabis stores in the city. Almost 15,500 people responded to the web-based survey with 78.9 per cent in support. But councillors dismissed the results, arguing it wasn’t a true scientific gauge of residents’ views on the issue.

Hamilton joins about 80 other Ontario municipalities, including Guelph, Ottawa, Toronto, and Sarnia that have agreed to permit cannabis stores. There are about 40 municipalities that have prohibited pot shops, including Richmond Hill, Mississauga, Markham, Wasaga Beach and West Lincoln. Municipalities have until Jan. 22 to decide if they want to allow cannabis stores within their borders.

Once a municipality opts into hosting a cannabis store, it can’t decide to reverse its decision.

Hamilton has already received the first phase of the province’s $15 million funding – about $574,493 because of the legalization of marijuana. By allowing cannabis stores, Hamilton will be eligible to receive an estimated $600,000 in the second phase of the provincial funding through the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund. Hamilton will also be eligible to receive a share of the federal excise duty on recreational cannabis, if it exceeds $100 million over the first two years.

Ontario has chosen 25 out of 17,320 applicants through a lottery to have licenses to operate a private cannabis retail store in the province. The lottery winners have five business days to submit their applications to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Out of those 25 license winners, seven were from Hamilton. The stores are scheduled to open in April.

Hamilton decides to allow private cannabis stores to operate

News Jan 15, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

It took a little bit of work and two votes, but Hamilton council agreed to allow cannabis stores to operate in the city.

In a 10-6 vote at a special council meeting Jan. 14, councillors also agreed to crack down on illegal dispensaries that continue to operate in the city and they urged the province to establish proper distances that pot shops can locate from parks, schools and day care centres.

“I’d much prefer to be on the legal side,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who introduced the motion. “It’s a popular product that people are already consuming.”

Councillors had previously, during the over three-hour meeting, voted 8-8 on a motion introduced by Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla, to prohibit pot shops from locating in Hamilton. A tie vote means a motion is defeated.

But in the legislative process, according to the city’s clerk, the decision meant that Hamilton had automatically allowed cannabis stores within its borders. The information prompted Stoney Creek Coun. Maria Pearson and Mountain Coun. John-Paul Danko to change their “no” vote to a “yes” allowing cannabis stores in the 10-6 subsequent motion introduced by Eisenberger.

Hamilton did launch an electronic survey on whether to allow cannabis stores in the city. Almost 15,500 people responded to the web-based survey with 78.9 per cent in support. But councillors dismissed the results, arguing it wasn’t a true scientific gauge of residents’ views on the issue.

Hamilton joins about 80 other Ontario municipalities, including Guelph, Ottawa, Toronto, and Sarnia that have agreed to permit cannabis stores. There are about 40 municipalities that have prohibited pot shops, including Richmond Hill, Mississauga, Markham, Wasaga Beach and West Lincoln. Municipalities have until Jan. 22 to decide if they want to allow cannabis stores within their borders.

Once a municipality opts into hosting a cannabis store, it can’t decide to reverse its decision.

Hamilton has already received the first phase of the province’s $15 million funding – about $574,493 because of the legalization of marijuana. By allowing cannabis stores, Hamilton will be eligible to receive an estimated $600,000 in the second phase of the provincial funding through the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund. Hamilton will also be eligible to receive a share of the federal excise duty on recreational cannabis, if it exceeds $100 million over the first two years.

Ontario has chosen 25 out of 17,320 applicants through a lottery to have licenses to operate a private cannabis retail store in the province. The lottery winners have five business days to submit their applications to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Out of those 25 license winners, seven were from Hamilton. The stores are scheduled to open in April.

Hamilton decides to allow private cannabis stores to operate

News Jan 15, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

It took a little bit of work and two votes, but Hamilton council agreed to allow cannabis stores to operate in the city.

In a 10-6 vote at a special council meeting Jan. 14, councillors also agreed to crack down on illegal dispensaries that continue to operate in the city and they urged the province to establish proper distances that pot shops can locate from parks, schools and day care centres.

“I’d much prefer to be on the legal side,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who introduced the motion. “It’s a popular product that people are already consuming.”

Councillors had previously, during the over three-hour meeting, voted 8-8 on a motion introduced by Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla, to prohibit pot shops from locating in Hamilton. A tie vote means a motion is defeated.

But in the legislative process, according to the city’s clerk, the decision meant that Hamilton had automatically allowed cannabis stores within its borders. The information prompted Stoney Creek Coun. Maria Pearson and Mountain Coun. John-Paul Danko to change their “no” vote to a “yes” allowing cannabis stores in the 10-6 subsequent motion introduced by Eisenberger.

Hamilton did launch an electronic survey on whether to allow cannabis stores in the city. Almost 15,500 people responded to the web-based survey with 78.9 per cent in support. But councillors dismissed the results, arguing it wasn’t a true scientific gauge of residents’ views on the issue.

Hamilton joins about 80 other Ontario municipalities, including Guelph, Ottawa, Toronto, and Sarnia that have agreed to permit cannabis stores. There are about 40 municipalities that have prohibited pot shops, including Richmond Hill, Mississauga, Markham, Wasaga Beach and West Lincoln. Municipalities have until Jan. 22 to decide if they want to allow cannabis stores within their borders.

Once a municipality opts into hosting a cannabis store, it can’t decide to reverse its decision.

Hamilton has already received the first phase of the province’s $15 million funding – about $574,493 because of the legalization of marijuana. By allowing cannabis stores, Hamilton will be eligible to receive an estimated $600,000 in the second phase of the provincial funding through the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund. Hamilton will also be eligible to receive a share of the federal excise duty on recreational cannabis, if it exceeds $100 million over the first two years.

Ontario has chosen 25 out of 17,320 applicants through a lottery to have licenses to operate a private cannabis retail store in the province. The lottery winners have five business days to submit their applications to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Out of those 25 license winners, seven were from Hamilton. The stores are scheduled to open in April.