City has to decide by January 17th if cannabis retail stores are to be permitted in Burlington.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 4th, 2018



City hall is asking residents to share their thoughts about whether bricks and mortar stores selling cannabis should be allowed to operate in the city.

Cannabis Yes or No graphicThe provincial government has given municipalities in Ontario a one-time offer to opt out of having cannabis stores in their communities. The deadline to make this decision is Jan. 22, 2019.

A number of municipalities have already said they will not permit these retail locations in their communities: Richmond Hill and Markham are examples.

To help gather the community’s input, a town hall, hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Burlington Performing Arts Centre from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The city has also launched an online survey at, open to Burlington residents until Thursday, December 13.

CLICK on  to register and take the survey about cannabis retail stores in Burlington.

Being sworn in

Mayor Meed Ward said during an exclusive interview with the Gazette that she was taken by surprise by some of the views she heard about cannabis retail outlets.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: “I support opting in to stores to give residents access to this product, eliminate the black market, and receive some government funding to assist with enforcement. However, there are many factors to consider before making any decision and I recognize there are a variety of views in the community. We want you to bring your questions, concerns, and opinions on this issue for an informative, interactive discussion.”

There are several new council members who have said they do not think the city should permit retail locations.  Ward 4 Council member Shawna Stolte has said she does not approve but added that she wanted to hear what others had to say.

Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager said Burlington City Council will consider a report on December 17, and vote on whether to opt in or opt out of hosting retail cannabis stores in Burlington. Ahead of that decision, the city wants to hear what residents have to say about locating cannabis retail stores in our city. We want to provide Council with as much information as possible in making their decision.”

Quick Facts
• On Oct. 17, 2018, recreational cannabis was legalized by the federal government of Canada.
• Currently, in Ontario, the only place to legally purchase cannabis is online from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).
• By April 2019, it is anticipated that brick and mortar, privately-operated retail cannabis stores will be operational across the province.
• Under the provincial regulations that guide the startup of private cannabis stores, retail locations can:
• be open between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
• be located at least 150 metres away from schools
• operate in any commercial or retail areas in the city with no maximum on the number of stores permitted within a municipality.
• Municipalities that opt in to allow retail stores will not have the option to opt out later and will receive funding to assist with the legalization of cannabis.
• Municipalities that choose to not allow retails stores may opt in later but will not be eligible for funding.

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3 comments to City has to decide by January 17th if cannabis retail stores are to be permitted in Burlington.

  • Lonely Taxpayer

    Where to put Burlington’s official Marijuana Shop?

    No better spot than the top floor penthouse suite of the new 37 story tower downtown.

    Easy to find and get high.

  • Chris Ariens

    What are the bylaws that apply to stores in Burlington which sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products? I’m not aware of any rules that dictate where stores can and cannot be located. It would make sense for us to follow the same protocol for the sale of cannabis products.

    The consumption of these products should also be legislated, with the same workplace safety rules and laws to protect children as those applied to smoking tobacco. It will be interesting to see how the tobacco smokers and the cannabis smokers get along. Will they be consumed in the same smoking areas or in separate locations? Both have their own distinctive odors and second-hand effects which the others might not wish to have imposed on them.

    There’s going to be a considerable amount of business generated from the sale of cannabis, and regardless of our decision, it will be consumed in Burlington just as was happening pre-legalization. Instead of responding with fear like some nearby communities did, we should have the courage to embrace the opportunities while ensuring that citizens can be protected from the negative effects.

  • Elizabeth Hamidbasha

    I’m not interested in cannabis for humans but I am very interested in cannabis for dogs. My dog Bella has a collapsing windpipe and without cannabis has coughed a lot almost all day.I am positive it must be painful. Since we’ve started giving her cannabis three weeks ago she coughs only rarely. This morning she ran through the snow and cavorted around like a youngster. The only problem is I have to go into Hamilton to get the medication. So yes, please, help Bella by opening cannabis stores in Burlington for animals.
    By the way, this was recommended by her very excellent vet, although she apologized because she could not provide me with the product. I had to go out and buy it myself.