This week Brampton city council voted in favour of opting in for legalized cannabis shops in their city as of April 1. Councillors voted eight to three in favour of opting in.
The vote was voted following a contentious three-hour long meeting that saw one person stormed out of council chambers in anger.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who was for the city opting in, said he was proud of the maturity shown by councillors.
“This was a difficult debate for our city, but I am proud of our city council for showing the maturity to look at all angles of this,” Brown said after the vote.
“I believe the made the best decision for the city of Brampton.”
The last-minute vote came just a day before Ontario municipalities can choose to opt out of the private cannabis business.
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government announced last year that local governments had to make the decision whether or not to play host to pot shops by Jan. 22, 2019.
So far, several cities including Mississauga, Markham and Oakville have voted to opt out.
A recent phone survey and online poll conducted by the city found that 54 per cent of residents support the opening of cannabis stores, while 62 per cent of cannabis buyers said they’d prefer shopping at a physical store over the online-only Ontario Cannabis Store.
“As such, staff is recommending that Council support the City allowing private cannabis retail stores to operate in Brampton,” the report says.
While municipalities have until Jan. 22 to opt out, local governments can reverse their decision later. But municipalities that vote to allow cannabis stores now will not be permitted to opt out at a later date. -CINEWS