MARIJUANA STORES WELCOME IN RUS­SELL TOWN­SHIP

Le Reflet (The News) - - ACTUALITES / NEWS - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN [email protected]

Marijuana stores will be welcome in Rus­sell Town­ship.

Rus­sell Town­ship coun­cil ap­pro­ved, in a 3-2 split-de­ci­sion re­gis­te­red vote De­cem­ber 17, to opt in to the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment’s new po­li­cy for al­lo­wing marijuana sales out­lets to set up shop in On­ta­rio mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties. Coun­cil­lors Ja­mie Lau­rin and Cin­dy Sau­cier vo­ted against the opt-in re­so­lu­tion, ex­pres­sing concern over the lack of mu­ni­ci­pal control or in­put al­lo­wed un­der the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment’s can­na­bis re­tail po­li­cy, es­pe­cial­ly where it concerns ap­pro­val of lo­ca­tions for marijuana re­tail stores.

in front of that store on their way to school and back,” said Coun­cil­lor Lau­rin, re­gar­ding pos­sible weak­nesses in the po­li­cy’s gui­de­lines bar­ring marijuana stores from set­ting up near schools.

Lau­rin pro­po­sed that the pro­vin­cial po­li­cy on can­na­bis re­tail out­lets should mir­ror the po­li­cy al­rea­dy in place for li­quor and beer store out­lets in the pro­vince, to avoid lo­ca­tions ei­ther near schools or near known school bus routes. Both he and Sau­cier ex­pres­sed concern that the pro­vince might ignore mu­ni­ci­pal in­put on sui­table lo­ca­tions for any ap­pro­ved marijuana re­tail out­lets that set up in the town­ship.

At present, the chance of a marijuana store set­ting up shop in Rus­sell Town­ship will de­pend on the luck of the lot­te­ry. The pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment an­noun­ced that it would al­low just 25 ap­pro­ved can­na­bis re­tail out­lets in On­ta­rio next year, be­cause of the cur­rent shor­tage of sup­ply for re­crea­tio­nal marijuana in Ca­na­da.

The pro­vince has di­vi­ded the pro­vince in­to five re­gions and al­lo­ca­ted five re­tail li­cences for each re­gion with all li­cences sub­ject to a lot­te­ry draw for ap­pro­val. Spe­cu­la­tion among town­ship coun­cil du­ring the Mon­day pu­blic ses­sion is that the Ci­ty of Ot­ta­wa could end up with all five of the re­tail lo­ca­tion li­cences

Fi­nan­cial car­rot

The pro­vin­cial po­li­cy gua­ran­tees that eve­ry On­ta­rio mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty will get about $5000 to help them with some of the pre­pa­ra­tion nee­ded for up­da­ting by­laws, trai­ning any staff, and other ex­penses that will re­sult when re­crea­tio­nal marijuana sales move from the on­line ac­cess on­ly se­tup now, through the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment, to pu­blic sales out­lets next year. The amount of re­crea­tio­nal marijuana sales is ex­pec­ted to in­crease, though both re­tail out­lets and users must still fol­low pro­vin­cial and fe­de­ral re­gu­la­tions dea­ling with marijuana sales and smo­king.

A mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty that opts out, and thus will not al­low re­tail marijuana out­lets wi­thin its bounds, will re­ceive ano­ther $5000 pay­ment from the pro­vince to help with ini­tial costs to pre­pare for the in­crea­sed avai­la­bi­li­ty and use of re­crea­tio­nal marijuana wi­thin its area. Those that opt in may get a share in fu­ture pro­vin­cial marijuana sales tax re­ve­nue.

This in­cen­tive un­der the pro­vin­cial can­na­bis re­tail po­li­cy de­pends on how much the go­vern­ment col­lects in marijuana sales tax over the next two years. If the to­tal amount of sales tax col­lec­ted is more than $100 mil­lion at the end of 2020, then the pro­vince will share half of the sur­plus amount among those mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties which op­ted in. If the pro­vin­cial tax re­ve­nue from marijuana sales is less than $100 mil­lion, no mat­ter how small the dif­fe­rence, then there is no sur­plus for the pro­vince to share.

Cas­sel­man and The Na­tion Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty

The Vil­lage of Cas­sel­man will be vo­ting on the same to­pic on Ja­nua­ry 10 while The over the next few weeks via so­cial me­dia. A re­port will be re­pre­sen­ted to coun­cil in ear­ly Ja­nua­ry.

—ar­chives

Les ma­ga­sins de vente au dé­tail de marijuana pour­ront s’éta­blir dans la mu­ni­ci­pa­li­té de Rus­sell. Le conseil a choi­si, dans le cadre d’un vote par di­vi­sion le 17 dé­cembre, d’adhé­rer à la pro­po­si­tion de po­li­tique du gou­ver­ne­ment pro­vin­cial vi­sant à per­mettre aux ma­ga­sins de marijuana de fonc­tion­ner dans les mu­ni­ci­pa­li­tés, en plus du sys­tème de vente et d’ap­pro­vi­sion­ne­ment en ligne exis­tant du gou­ver­ne­ment. Les conseillères Ja­mie Lau­rin et Cin­dy Sau­cier ont vo­té contre la ré­so­lu­tion, se di­sant pré­oc­cu­pées par le manque de par­ti­ci­pa­tion et de contrôle des mu­ni­ci­pa­li­tés sur la ques­tion des points de vente au dé­tail lo­caux.

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