Have we reached the 'enough is enough' on the cannabis stores in the city?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 30th, 2020



There are seven LCBO stores in Burlington.

An application for the 17th cannabis retail location has been received; 10 of the applications are operational, five are under review, two, plus the most recent, are out for community comment.

Municipalities were given the option to permit the setting up of retail cannabis stores or to take a pass and not permit cannabis retail locations.

Burlington chose to permit them: it was a 5-2 vote permitting, with Councillors Stolte and Bentivegna against.

The Mayor was a very strong supporter, at times sounding like an advocate.

The other four were inclined to go along.

The Town of  Oakville decided not to permit  cannabis stores.

Many take the view that the commercial locations will fail if there isn’t a customer base creating a demand.

There is certainly a demand for the product – but it isn’t from the people of Burlington.  The folks from Oakville drive over to patronize the Burlington locations.

I am not opposed to the sale of the product – it’s legal – let people buy it.  My concern is why does Burlington have to become the destination for people in communities that don’t have cannabis shops where they live?

We keep hearing the argument that there are those who need the product for medicinal purposes.

Is this what the people of Burlington believe reflects the values of their community?

Is there a point the city might not want to go beyond?

And can city council do anything to perhaps cap the number of locations?

We think it is a question that can and should be asked of City Council.

Are we at that enough is enough point?

Related news story:

Application for 17th cannabis store received by the provincial government.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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8 comments to Have we reached the ‘enough is enough’ on the cannabis stores in the city?

  • Mike Devine

    “There is certainly a demand for the product – but it isn’t from the people of Burlington. The folks from Oakville drive over to patronize the Burlington locations.”

    Do you have anything vaguely resembling statistics to bear-out your opinion?

    Otherwise, is there some unspoken reason you wouldn’t want Burlington to become a destination shopping locale for this product? I sense an underlying, baseless, bias.

    As others have stated, this situation seems like the kind of entrepreneurial, small business victory Burlington doesn’t see enough of.

  • Keith McCann

    Your sentiment seems to be that the industry needs to justify its brick and mortar presence which I feel is far from the case. I’d say that these shops have done nothing but improve our community by deepening the erosion of the local black market by offering valuable product knowledge to anyone interested in seeking it out. There are products available now that didn’t exist in the main stream prior to legalization that most people have no idea about. And the customer service at the two I’ve visited (Friendly Stranger on Plains and Pioneer on Brant) has been top notch for any industry. They follow the processes outlined by the province to the letter. They’re clean, professional, and welcoming. I’d say they are a very good example of doing regulated retail right (unlike, lets say the beer store). And its short cited regulations like not allowing curbside pick up that should be corrected to improve their effectiveness.
    So to me, it looks like the strong provincial regulations along with the city application review is working really well.

    We should support this industry growth, not waste the resources on revisiting the process in council, at this time, and allow the market to determine their fate.

    Also, Pepper, seriously? “There is certainly a demand for the product – but it isn’t from the people of Burlington.” lol. All those Oakvillian beatniks coming to our town to get there reefer fix! lol You’re awesome. I think you might want to visit a shop one time, just to see what its all about.
    When I did, I found out the topical cream is great for localized muscle pain relief without any “psychoactive” effects. Works great!

    Editor’s note: We did visit one – nothing impressed us. There is a place for the cannabis stores – just how many was the question we were asking.

  • perryb

    positive covid numbers are climbing in Oakville. Maybe creep from people coming from lockdown zones in Mississauga and Toronto? Do we want to encourage more visitors from Oakville to buy their pot?

  • Strange to see the opposition to small businesses opening, employing people and working hard to become successful. So people from other cities are coming here to purchase their products? Let them come and spend their money in Burlington! The products aren’t consumed on premises, so there’s absolutely nothing to fear from people shopping at the stores. So far there’s been little impact from legalization, other than the occasional whiff of pot smoke detectable on a walk through the neighbourhood on a summer night. Much ado about nothing. Enough will be enough when the market is saturated and the shops start closing. Or when the big grocery chains start taking over sales of cannabis products like with beer & wine.

  • Eve St Clair

    Hopefully all the who voted Liberal federally are happy . Not opposed as they are legal and businesses just like any other

  • Eleanor Bain

    I feel enough is enough now.

  • Collin

    To put things in a bit of perspective, there are 13 alcohol-distribution stores in Burlington when we count the 6 beer stores. Adding about 45 bars (ref. Google search for “bars burlington on”) and a probably-equal number of licensed restaurants would give you more than 100 establishments in our fair city where people can buy alcohol.

    Are 17 pot stores too many? What is the tally of complaints to City Hall or Halton Police about establishments selling alcohol vs. those selling pot? What do the school boards think? It would be good to know these types of things before making a judgment.


    I have already asked this question of the city as I was getting concerned with the number of stores. Apparently, the number of “allowable” shops is in the hands of the Province. As long as they pass a scrutiny test and are granted permission they can set up here in the city within certain guidelines. i.e., a certain distance from a school, etc.. We (Council perhaps?)should be approaching the Province about limitations… You’re correct, when is enough enough already…