Mississauga mayor ‘startled’ by illegal cannabis outlets in city, council to reconsider retail pot

News Nov 12, 2019 by Steve Cornwell Mississauga News

Close to a year after opting out, Mississauga will reconsider allowing retail cannabis stores in the city.

The city will look again at cannabis storefronts in the new year, in part, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said, because of the persistence of the illegal market in Mississauga. She said she was “very startled” by the amount of unauthorized cannabis businesses in the city.

Crombie said the full costs of allowing cannabis stores, from enforcement to public health and education, is to be determined.

“Certainly, there would be a much higher bylaw cost than we had anticipated given the proliferation of the illegal outlets to purchase,” she said.

As of Nov. 10, websites listing dispensaries in Mississauga had between four and 10 recreational cannabis retail and delivery businesses in the city’s boundaries.

Since opting out, Mississauga has largely foregone payments from Ontario’s Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund, which aims to help municipalities deal with the costs of legalization.

Brampton opted in to retail cannabis and, since February, the Flower City has received $381,365 from the fund. Caledon and Mississauga have each received $5,000 over the same period.

Concerns over proliferation of stores and their locations near sensitive areas such as daycares, led the city to vote not to allow retail cannabis shops Dec. 12, 2018. Councillors Sue McFadden and Karen Ras voted in favour of allowing the stores.

After voting to against retail cannabis, the mayor sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford outlining the city’s concerns hoping for more power to determine store locations.

Crombie said the Ford government is not likely to change course, but that council “did the right thing” in holding out.

"This is a council that does their homework,” she said. “We're very thoughtful and we had some legitimate concerns with respect to the proliferation of these stores and the locations."

Mississauga was one of 76 municipalities in Ontario that opted out of retail cannabis before the Jan. 22, 2019, deadline.

Ras, who raised the issue of another “adult conversation” about retail cannabis stores in Mississauga at an Oct. 2 council meeting, said in an email that she hopes council will revisit the issue early in 2020, after the city’s budget process wraps up.

However, some of the same concerns that led council to vote against the stores in 2018 appear to remain. At the October council meeting, Ward 7 Coun. Dipika Damerla said that while the province has not issued as many licences as originally thought, she wanted to make sure that the government is not “planning to open the floodgates.”

At the meeting, city manager Janice Baker said the province’s rollout of retail cannabis has been stifled by limited supply. But that could change, making planning a challenge for the city.

“I'm not sure that what's happening today will be reflective of what will happen in the future,” she said.

The province has so far authorized 75 retail cannabis stores. As of Nov. 11 there have been no further announcements about upcoming retail cannabis licence lotteries.

 

Mississauga mayor ‘startled’ by illegal cannabis outlets in city, council to reconsider retail pot

Council held out for more control of stores

News Nov 12, 2019 by Steve Cornwell Mississauga News

Close to a year after opting out, Mississauga will reconsider allowing retail cannabis stores in the city.

The city will look again at cannabis storefronts in the new year, in part, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said, because of the persistence of the illegal market in Mississauga. She said she was “very startled” by the amount of unauthorized cannabis businesses in the city.

Crombie said the full costs of allowing cannabis stores, from enforcement to public health and education, is to be determined.

“Certainly, there would be a much higher bylaw cost than we had anticipated given the proliferation of the illegal outlets to purchase,” she said.

Related Content

As of Nov. 10, websites listing dispensaries in Mississauga had between four and 10 recreational cannabis retail and delivery businesses in the city’s boundaries.

Since opting out, Mississauga has largely foregone payments from Ontario’s Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund, which aims to help municipalities deal with the costs of legalization.

Brampton opted in to retail cannabis and, since February, the Flower City has received $381,365 from the fund. Caledon and Mississauga have each received $5,000 over the same period.

Concerns over proliferation of stores and their locations near sensitive areas such as daycares, led the city to vote not to allow retail cannabis shops Dec. 12, 2018. Councillors Sue McFadden and Karen Ras voted in favour of allowing the stores.

After voting to against retail cannabis, the mayor sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford outlining the city’s concerns hoping for more power to determine store locations.

Crombie said the Ford government is not likely to change course, but that council “did the right thing” in holding out.

"This is a council that does their homework,” she said. “We're very thoughtful and we had some legitimate concerns with respect to the proliferation of these stores and the locations."

Mississauga was one of 76 municipalities in Ontario that opted out of retail cannabis before the Jan. 22, 2019, deadline.

Ras, who raised the issue of another “adult conversation” about retail cannabis stores in Mississauga at an Oct. 2 council meeting, said in an email that she hopes council will revisit the issue early in 2020, after the city’s budget process wraps up.

However, some of the same concerns that led council to vote against the stores in 2018 appear to remain. At the October council meeting, Ward 7 Coun. Dipika Damerla said that while the province has not issued as many licences as originally thought, she wanted to make sure that the government is not “planning to open the floodgates.”

At the meeting, city manager Janice Baker said the province’s rollout of retail cannabis has been stifled by limited supply. But that could change, making planning a challenge for the city.

“I'm not sure that what's happening today will be reflective of what will happen in the future,” she said.

The province has so far authorized 75 retail cannabis stores. As of Nov. 11 there have been no further announcements about upcoming retail cannabis licence lotteries.

 

Mississauga mayor ‘startled’ by illegal cannabis outlets in city, council to reconsider retail pot

Council held out for more control of stores

News Nov 12, 2019 by Steve Cornwell Mississauga News

Close to a year after opting out, Mississauga will reconsider allowing retail cannabis stores in the city.

The city will look again at cannabis storefronts in the new year, in part, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said, because of the persistence of the illegal market in Mississauga. She said she was “very startled” by the amount of unauthorized cannabis businesses in the city.

Crombie said the full costs of allowing cannabis stores, from enforcement to public health and education, is to be determined.

“Certainly, there would be a much higher bylaw cost than we had anticipated given the proliferation of the illegal outlets to purchase,” she said.

Related Content

As of Nov. 10, websites listing dispensaries in Mississauga had between four and 10 recreational cannabis retail and delivery businesses in the city’s boundaries.

Since opting out, Mississauga has largely foregone payments from Ontario’s Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund, which aims to help municipalities deal with the costs of legalization.

Brampton opted in to retail cannabis and, since February, the Flower City has received $381,365 from the fund. Caledon and Mississauga have each received $5,000 over the same period.

Concerns over proliferation of stores and their locations near sensitive areas such as daycares, led the city to vote not to allow retail cannabis shops Dec. 12, 2018. Councillors Sue McFadden and Karen Ras voted in favour of allowing the stores.

After voting to against retail cannabis, the mayor sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford outlining the city’s concerns hoping for more power to determine store locations.

Crombie said the Ford government is not likely to change course, but that council “did the right thing” in holding out.

"This is a council that does their homework,” she said. “We're very thoughtful and we had some legitimate concerns with respect to the proliferation of these stores and the locations."

Mississauga was one of 76 municipalities in Ontario that opted out of retail cannabis before the Jan. 22, 2019, deadline.

Ras, who raised the issue of another “adult conversation” about retail cannabis stores in Mississauga at an Oct. 2 council meeting, said in an email that she hopes council will revisit the issue early in 2020, after the city’s budget process wraps up.

However, some of the same concerns that led council to vote against the stores in 2018 appear to remain. At the October council meeting, Ward 7 Coun. Dipika Damerla said that while the province has not issued as many licences as originally thought, she wanted to make sure that the government is not “planning to open the floodgates.”

At the meeting, city manager Janice Baker said the province’s rollout of retail cannabis has been stifled by limited supply. But that could change, making planning a challenge for the city.

“I'm not sure that what's happening today will be reflective of what will happen in the future,” she said.

The province has so far authorized 75 retail cannabis stores. As of Nov. 11 there have been no further announcements about upcoming retail cannabis licence lotteries.