Hamilton City Council debates allowing licensed cannabis stores

It’s decision day in Hamilton and Burlington as city councillors decide if they will allow private cannabis retail stores inside their city limits.

Supporters of “opting in” say it’s about taking advantage of an economic opportunity and providing an alternative to the black market.

Opponents worry about pot shops locating close to schools and complain that the provincial and federal governments are not sharing enough tax revenue to offset municipal costs.

Councils in both Hamilton and Burlington recently deferred their decisions until Jan. 14, to allow for more community input.

Hamilton City Council is meeting on Monday afternoon to make its decision.

Burlington City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m.

In Hamilton, it’s estimated that there are currently more than 30 illegal cannabis stores in operation. Hamilton police estimate it will cost them up to $769,000 to enforce illegal dispensaries.

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