As the federal government is going through the steps to legalize marijuana, there is also a lot going on provincially and right here in the City of London.
London is one of three communities in Southwestern Ontario (Kitchener & Windsor) expected to have storefronts in the initial rollout. We’ll see one or two stores by July 1st, 2018…eventually expanding to four or five. The outlets will be managed by the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp., similar to the LCBO for alcohol sales.
Now the City of London just has to figure out where they will go.
A staff report will be heard by the council’s planning and environment committee at their next meeting on Monday December 4th.
Here are some of the highlights of that report:
- The planning report suggests these shops should be located at least 500 metres from schools, libraries, pools, arenas or community centres.
- The report suggests the outlets should be near shopping areas, along transit lines or in urban corridors.
- Parking and security are two other priorities that will also be addressed in the report. The proposal encourages at least one space for every 15 square metres of space.
- Province-wide, 40 stores are expected to open by July 1, 2018, with 110 more by 2020.
The City has a lot of work to do and really not much time to pull it off before the July 1st, 2018 goal by the federal government. The provinces are certainly feeling the pressure to hit that date with some leaders asking the federal government for more time.
A recent Angus Reid poll shows that over half of Canadians aren’t sure their governments will be ready by July 1st with everything that has to be done beforehand. As part of the federal rollout plan, the provinces were tasked with overseeing licensing and distribution of the product.
There seems to be three options that the provinces are choosing from; government-controlled sales, private business and dispensary-based models…so it will be different depending on which province you live in or are visiting.
At the same time, there are also some questions regarding recreation vs medicinal use as outlined in this video. You can see the reaction of a Kingston woman over a $1 federal tax on every gram of medical cannabis sold in Canada.
No matter how you feel about it, this is happening…but there is a lot of work and planning to go before this is ready to launch.
Here’s a quick update from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a tweet earlier this week, describing where we are in the legalizing process…and it seems that some Conservative senators are threatening to hold up the passing of the bill.