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Town Seeking Community Feedback on Cannabis Retail Stores

submitted to EFP

The Town of Essex is currently seeking feedback on the establishment of cannabis retail stores. Citizens are invited to fill out a public survey to assist Council in their decision to opt in or opt out of allowing such stores in the community.

Under provincial legislation, municipalities have the option to opt in or opt out of hosting cannabis retailers within their boundaries.

If a municipality opts in, a cannabis retail store may be permitted to operate wherever retail stores are permitted, as long as they are 150 metres away from a school. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will make the final decision of whether to permit a cannabis retail store location.

Municipalities can adopt a ‘Municipal Cannabis Retail Policy Statement’ which recommends that the AGCO consider other factors, such as proximity to libraries, community centres, and addiction treatment facilities. However, the AGCO is not bound by the municipality’s policy statement. If a municipality opts in and an application is made for a retail store, the AGCO will follow a 15 day public notice process.

The Town of Essex is seeking public feedback on whether Council should opt in or opt out, as well as comments on what should be included in the Municipal Cannabis Retail Policy Statement.

Citizens can fill out the survey online at www.essex.ca/cannabis or send comments to the Clerks Department, 33 Talbot Street South, Essex, Ontario.

Submissions will be accepted until Thursday, January 10 at 11am and presented to Council at their Regular Meeting on Monday, January 14. Paper copies of the survey will also be available at Town of Essex recreation facilities.

For more information about the legalization of cannabis and its potential impact on the Town of Essex, please read Planning Report #2018-47 (Item 6.1 presented at the December 17 Council meeting.)

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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