The new city council will have to debate whether or not to permit the opening of commercial cannabis shops in the city.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 29th, 2018



The federal government has made it legal to sell cannabis to the public on October 17th.

You will be able to purchase up to 30 grams (close to one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis at one time for personal use.

The province gets to decide where the product is to be sold.

Cannabis smokers

Think Sound of Music – 2019 Heavy public use of cannabis could kill the event.

As of October 17, 2018, the Ontario Cannabis Store website will be the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis. It will follow strict rules set by the federal government.

The Ford government has said it will launch a private retail store system for selling legal recreational marijuana on April 1, 2019, and it will give Ontario municipalities a one-time chance to opt out of having those physical shops within their boundaries.

Meed Ward H&S profile

On cannabis – Meed Ward says sell it, regulate it and get some of the proceeds.

Burlington Mayoralty candidate Marianne Meed Ward has said she “supports cannabis shops in Burlington, under strict location and distribution regulations. This is a legal, in some cases medically necessary, product and we have to make room for it. I do not support taking the easy way out with an opt-out. Many of our residents suffering from pain and other medical ailments deserve the opportunity to buy medical marijuana at convenient locations.

“A priority for the new council”, said Meed Ward, “ will be establishing rules for locations, licensing, zoning. Stores should not be near schools or in mixed-use residential buildings. They should be accessible by transit. These stores would be in plazas or stand-alone buildings that don’t conflict with nearby businesses.

“We need stronger bylaws on smoking in public spaces, to prevent residents from being exposed to second-hand cannabis, as well as tobacco (we don’t currently enforce the bylaw restricting tobacco use in parks).

Smoking cannabis shouldn’t be permitted near cannabis stores, especially those located in plazas with nearby businesses. I’m open to further input from residents on locations/ licensing rules.

“We need to ensure cannabis cannot be obtained by children or teenagers. I’ll approach the province for a share of revenue for enforcement costs.”

The Gazette knows of at least one ward level candidate who would prefer that the city wait.

Premier Ford has said municipalities will have until Jan. 22 to decide if they want to ban dispensaries from their territories. Cannabis shops will be allowed, once they are licensed, to open April 1st.

Goldring - Christmas picture

Goldring – cautious on public sale of cannabis in Burlington

Wallace at council meeting

Mike Wallace – wants the public to have time to think about the public sale of cannabis.

Mayor Goldring is reported to have said “the city should opt out and examine how other municipalities sort through the still-hazy provincial regulations.”

Mike Wallace also favours the opt out approach “but only temporarily.”

Greg Woodruff asks, with a wink of his eye, if the stuff isn’t already being sold in the city. Police reports on drug raids suggest there is a healthy market in Burlington. The hope is that making the sale public will drive the underground trade to the convenience stores.

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6 comments to The new city council will have to debate whether or not to permit the opening of commercial cannabis shops in the city.

  • Susan L.

    Cannabis is already being sold in Burlington, to both adults and children. Most drug pushers are not interested in quality control, education of what the various strains are used for nor do they care about the use of dangerous pesticides.

    If we opted out, people would continue to buy it. With some, the choice would be to drive to another city. With others, they would continue to purchase from the black market. People often do whichever is most convenient for them. Maybe the illegal sellers would start a delivery service to compete with the Government. For all I know, they already do deliver.

    I think it would be a bad idea to stop new businesses from operating in Burlington. Don’t forget the City of Burlington’s Property Tax revenue.

    As Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger said, “We’ve always been of the belief that if you can licence, you can control, and that way you can establish what you want in a community. You can establish some rules and you can hold them accountable.”

  • JQ Public

    We can be leaders, or we can be followers, as people and as a city. Clear who the leader is and who the followers are.

  • Marilyn A.

    I say temporarily opt out to review what works/doesn’t work for the opt in municipalities.

    The new mayor and council should not be rushed to establish strict rules with the help of Burlington residents.

  • s. hutchinson

    I truly believe strict bylaw bans on smoking of anything, will have to be passed for “all public” spaces due to these areas being frequented by families and their pets.

  • Judy G

    I say no. It should still be illegal!