Aurora decides to opt-in and Newmarket opts-out.
Aurora council voted 5-1 to allow private retail cannabis stores in the municipality. One councillor did not participate in the vote due to a potential conflict of interest.
“Rather than focusing on highly-regulated retail sales, I believe our focus should be on developing a task force to deal with enforcement as it relates to public health, cannabis use in public spaces, impaired driving and safety issues related to home growing,” said Mayor Tom Mrakas. “Whether we have a retail outlet or not, we still have to deal with enforcement issues and taxpayers will bear the cost of that. Opting in will allow us to partially offset costs by receiving additional funding from the government.”
Municipalities that opt-in to allowing retail outlets will receive a share of the province’s portion of all future federal excise duty on recreational cannabis.
Newmarket council recently voted to opt-out of private cannabis retail stores in town.
“The Town of Newmarket will be taking a measured approach to this topic and will review and revisit council’s decision in a year’s time,” said Mayor John Taylor. “By then, we hope more information will be available and we are able to learn from the experiences of the municipalities that have opted-in.”
At their meeting, Newmarket council expressed that municipalities require local control of how many stores are permitted and greater planning authority should be given over the location of private cannabis retail stores.
This decision directed staff to continue to review information regarding cannabis retail stores as it becomes available and to monitor the experiences of other municipalities that have opted-in. Staff are to report to council in one year’s time to provide further information. Staff were also directed to prepare amendments or new bylaws as required and return with recommendations as to how the smoking and vaping of cannabis should be regulated in Newmarket.
Members of the public had many opportunities to get involved and give feedback on the topic.