Brampton council debates allowing cannabis retail stores to operate in municipality

Brampton city council is debating whether or not to opt in to the provincial government’s regime for allowing cannabis retail stores to operate within its municipality.

The special city council meeting at Brampton City Hall began at 7 p.m.

Mayor Patrick Brown announced late Monday afternoon that he would support opting in.

When it comes to nearby municipalities, the Town of Oakville and City of Mississauga opted out of retail cannabis stores. However, the City of Toronto opted in.

Under legislation regarding privately run cannabis stores announced by the Ontario government earlier this year, the province’s municipalities have a one-time opt-out deadline — which is on Tuesday. Stores will be allowed to open as soon as April 1.

Earlier this month, the Ontario government announced the recipients of the province’s initial 25 retail licences.

The stand-alone stores can be open any day between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., but the businesses must be at least 150 metres away from schools and restrict entry to anyone under 19 years old.

Illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after legalization on Oct. 17 will not be eligible to receive cannabis sales licences.

The only current legal way of getting recreational marijuana in the province is online through the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store.

Approximately $40 million will be given to local governments across the province over two years to help with costs associated with the legalization of marijuana. The funding will be distributed in two rounds.

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