Hamilton councillors request staff reports to assist with pot-shop decision

City staff have been asked to compile some additional information ahead of a Jan. 14 decision on whether to welcome legal cannabis stores to Hamilton.

City council, in officially deferring the matter until the new year during a meeting on Wednesday morning, asked for reports detailing the economic impact of legal stores and in regards to cannabis-related policing costs, both with or without the shops.

The results of a public survey to be conducted on the city’s website will also be compiled by Jan. 14.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger predicts that new information will be “very important for our decision making.”

During meetings at Hamilton City Hall this week, eight councillors voiced their desire to “opt out” of having legal cannabis stores in Hamilton, while seven councillors verbally supported “opting in.”

The opponents, based on current information, are Councillors Sam Merulla, Chad Collins, Tom Jackson, Esther Pauls, John Paul Danko, Maria Pearson, Lloyd Ferguson and Judi Partridge.

Supporters, at this point, include Mayor Eisenberger and Councillors Maureen Wilson, Jason Farr, Nrinder Nann, Terry Whitehead, Brad Clark and Arlene Vanderbeek.

A 16th councillor, Glanbrook’s Brenda Johnson says she is “waiting to hear all the information” before tipping her hand.

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