Mississauga mayor says 'not now' on retail cannabis

News Jul 13, 2019 by Steve Cornwell Mississauga News

Those hoping for retail cannabis shops to arrive in Mississauga will have to wait a while longer.

The Ford government announced a lottery for 50 new cannabis stores this month, and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said until Ontario permits municipalities more control over where the stores are located, the city won't allow them.

Municipalities can't impose location restrictions for cannabis stores beyond what is already in provincial legislation. That's something Crombie would like to see changed before the city allows the shops.

She would also like to see cannabis retail outlets located farther away from schools than the current 150 metres and more power for municipalities to include setbacks for other sensitive locations, such as daycares, bus stops and shelters.

"We like to take our time, we like to do our homework," she said. "And we're not saying no forever, just not now."

The mayor added that the Ford government is aware of Mississauga's concerns on retail cannabis, but so far the province has been less than receptive.

"I haven't really got a response other than 'Thank you for your letter'," she said.

Mississauga Council said no to retail cannabis on Dec. 12, 2018, with a vote of 10-2. According to the Ontario's alcohol, cannabis and gaming regulator, 337 municipalities in the province opted in to allow retail cannabis while under 80 opted out of retail cannabis.

Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras voted against the city's motion to opt out and stands by the decision.

"We don't regulate where LCBOs go," she said. "Why would we say no and take that extra step to try to dictate where the cannabis stores would go, as long as they are within those setbacks related to schools and other sensitive use?"

Ras also said the province isn't likely to grant the city "absolute control" over retail cannabis and thinks its manageable to work within the current parameters.

"You don't put 10 of the same stores in the same location, that's basic sales and marketing," she said. "So I'm sure they would be spread out throughout the city."

The day after the province announced the new lottery retail licences, the Mississauga Board of Trade published an open letter to Mayor Crombie and city council asking them to "re-open this issue and vote in favour" of cannabis stores.

Board of trade president and CEO David Wojcik said that the board supports Mississauga's concerns around retail cannabis, but the stores should still be in the city.

"Anyone in Mississauga that wants to obtain cannabis, they're either going to go north to Brampton to buy it or east to Toronto. Or they're going to continue to buy it from illegal sources," he said.

Brampton has one retail cannabis shop, Ganjika House. A second store, 360 Cannabis, has applied for a license.

Of the 50 new retail cannabis licences, six stores can be set up in the Greater Toronto Area.

The news stores will be approved to open on a rolling basis, beginning in October.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated July 15 at 5:33 p.m. to indicate that 360 Cannabis has also made a retail store application in Brampton and new stores are scheduled to be approved to open on a rolling basis in October.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says 'not now' on retail cannabis

More control over cannabis shop locations needed for city to opt in, mayor says

News Jul 13, 2019 by Steve Cornwell Mississauga News

Those hoping for retail cannabis shops to arrive in Mississauga will have to wait a while longer.

The Ford government announced a lottery for 50 new cannabis stores this month, and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said until Ontario permits municipalities more control over where the stores are located, the city won't allow them.

Municipalities can't impose location restrictions for cannabis stores beyond what is already in provincial legislation. That's something Crombie would like to see changed before the city allows the shops.

She would also like to see cannabis retail outlets located farther away from schools than the current 150 metres and more power for municipalities to include setbacks for other sensitive locations, such as daycares, bus stops and shelters.

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"We like to take our time, we like to do our homework," she said. "And we're not saying no forever, just not now."

The mayor added that the Ford government is aware of Mississauga's concerns on retail cannabis, but so far the province has been less than receptive.

"I haven't really got a response other than 'Thank you for your letter'," she said.

Mississauga Council said no to retail cannabis on Dec. 12, 2018, with a vote of 10-2. According to the Ontario's alcohol, cannabis and gaming regulator, 337 municipalities in the province opted in to allow retail cannabis while under 80 opted out of retail cannabis.

Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras voted against the city's motion to opt out and stands by the decision.

"We don't regulate where LCBOs go," she said. "Why would we say no and take that extra step to try to dictate where the cannabis stores would go, as long as they are within those setbacks related to schools and other sensitive use?"

Ras also said the province isn't likely to grant the city "absolute control" over retail cannabis and thinks its manageable to work within the current parameters.

"You don't put 10 of the same stores in the same location, that's basic sales and marketing," she said. "So I'm sure they would be spread out throughout the city."

The day after the province announced the new lottery retail licences, the Mississauga Board of Trade published an open letter to Mayor Crombie and city council asking them to "re-open this issue and vote in favour" of cannabis stores.

Board of trade president and CEO David Wojcik said that the board supports Mississauga's concerns around retail cannabis, but the stores should still be in the city.

"Anyone in Mississauga that wants to obtain cannabis, they're either going to go north to Brampton to buy it or east to Toronto. Or they're going to continue to buy it from illegal sources," he said.

Brampton has one retail cannabis shop, Ganjika House. A second store, 360 Cannabis, has applied for a license.

Of the 50 new retail cannabis licences, six stores can be set up in the Greater Toronto Area.

The news stores will be approved to open on a rolling basis, beginning in October.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated July 15 at 5:33 p.m. to indicate that 360 Cannabis has also made a retail store application in Brampton and new stores are scheduled to be approved to open on a rolling basis in October.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says 'not now' on retail cannabis

More control over cannabis shop locations needed for city to opt in, mayor says

News Jul 13, 2019 by Steve Cornwell Mississauga News

Those hoping for retail cannabis shops to arrive in Mississauga will have to wait a while longer.

The Ford government announced a lottery for 50 new cannabis stores this month, and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said until Ontario permits municipalities more control over where the stores are located, the city won't allow them.

Municipalities can't impose location restrictions for cannabis stores beyond what is already in provincial legislation. That's something Crombie would like to see changed before the city allows the shops.

She would also like to see cannabis retail outlets located farther away from schools than the current 150 metres and more power for municipalities to include setbacks for other sensitive locations, such as daycares, bus stops and shelters.

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"We like to take our time, we like to do our homework," she said. "And we're not saying no forever, just not now."

The mayor added that the Ford government is aware of Mississauga's concerns on retail cannabis, but so far the province has been less than receptive.

"I haven't really got a response other than 'Thank you for your letter'," she said.

Mississauga Council said no to retail cannabis on Dec. 12, 2018, with a vote of 10-2. According to the Ontario's alcohol, cannabis and gaming regulator, 337 municipalities in the province opted in to allow retail cannabis while under 80 opted out of retail cannabis.

Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras voted against the city's motion to opt out and stands by the decision.

"We don't regulate where LCBOs go," she said. "Why would we say no and take that extra step to try to dictate where the cannabis stores would go, as long as they are within those setbacks related to schools and other sensitive use?"

Ras also said the province isn't likely to grant the city "absolute control" over retail cannabis and thinks its manageable to work within the current parameters.

"You don't put 10 of the same stores in the same location, that's basic sales and marketing," she said. "So I'm sure they would be spread out throughout the city."

The day after the province announced the new lottery retail licences, the Mississauga Board of Trade published an open letter to Mayor Crombie and city council asking them to "re-open this issue and vote in favour" of cannabis stores.

Board of trade president and CEO David Wojcik said that the board supports Mississauga's concerns around retail cannabis, but the stores should still be in the city.

"Anyone in Mississauga that wants to obtain cannabis, they're either going to go north to Brampton to buy it or east to Toronto. Or they're going to continue to buy it from illegal sources," he said.

Brampton has one retail cannabis shop, Ganjika House. A second store, 360 Cannabis, has applied for a license.

Of the 50 new retail cannabis licences, six stores can be set up in the Greater Toronto Area.

The news stores will be approved to open on a rolling basis, beginning in October.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated July 15 at 5:33 p.m. to indicate that 360 Cannabis has also made a retail store application in Brampton and new stores are scheduled to be approved to open on a rolling basis in October.