Huntsville could be officially ‘in the dope business’

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Huntsville Council has voted in favour of allowing private recreational cannabis dispensaries to set up shop in the community.

Municipalities were asked by the Province to simply opt-in or opt-out of the program by January 22, 2019.

According to a report provided to council at its December 12 meeting by Economic Development Coordinator Scott Ovell, municipalities that opt-in could be financial beneficiaries of the sale of cannabis.

“If Ontario’s portion of the federal excise duty on recreational cannabis over the first two years of legalization exceeds $100 million, the Province will provide 50 per cent of the surplus to municipalities that have opted-in only as of January 22, 2019,” wrote Ovell.

He also stated that an Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund (OCLIF) has been created and Huntsville is expected to receive an initial installment of about $13,606. Funds under the OCLIF can only be used for costs associated with the legalization of recreational cannabis, such as: increased enforcement, public inquiries related to the legalization, increased paramedic and fire services, and policy development.

Ovell’s report also states that since the newly elected provincial government took office, the regulatory regime for the sale of cannabis has changed. At first, it was proposed that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario would be overseeing the sale of recreational cannabis. Now it seems they will only be an online distributor while private retail stores will be allowed to begin selling marijuana as of April 1, 2019, if municipalities endorse its sale within their boundaries.

The licensing and regulation of such stores is expected to fall under the purview of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Applications are expected to be posted on the AGCO website and signs posted on storefronts for which an application has been made, not unlike liquor licence applications. Municipalities would then have 15 days to comment on the proposed location.

Council was asked to give staff the ability to formulate a commenting plan in collaboration with District municipal staff and other Muskoka municipalities that choose to opt-in, particularly since the 15 day commenting period may not fall within a timeframe when council meets.

“The regulation identifies locational requirements to protect youth, through a requirement of a 150-metre buffer area to separate cannabis stores from schools. No buffers for any other use is specified in the regulations. Further, the regulation contains a licensing regime for private retail sales. Put simply, unless a retail store has a provincial licence, the Province will not permit the store to operate. As a result, a municipality cannot regulate the location of retail cannabis outlets through zoning, nor can it license such uses through its business licensing by-law,” added Ovell in his report.

Councillor Nancy Alcock questioned whether the legislation put a cap on the number of licences that can be issued within a municipality; Ovell said he would find out.

Council seemed to unanimously agree to opt-in and allow the installation of licenced private cannabis retail stores in the municipality.

“We’re in the dope business,” commented Councillor Brian Thompson after the vote.

You can find Ovell’s full report at this link.

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16 Comments

  1. How can I get to be a silent investor as hiring a few younger kids as the dooerista’s from the nearby schools will make me rich! Huntsville already has some issues related to addictions. Now local government will be helping.

  2. We are on a slippery slope! I had a conversation with my granddaughter (grade 8) on the way to school one morning. She was listing kids she knew who have smoked marijuana, I was shocked as these would not be your typical kids to even smoke cigarettes. Their reason for trying “well it’s legal”

    We have a voice as we have experienced first hand a taste of “hell” due to addiction. My two granddaughters and my daughter have lost a husband, a father a home and more. He has lost EVERYTHING!

    I have encouraged my granddaughter to use her voice to help her friends make the right choice as one bad choice can affect a person the rest of their life!

    We have to think of the future and how this is going impact our youth. We already have an addiction crisis and it is only going to get worse.

    • If we sell alcohol in store fronts we have to sell marijuana as well. Stop pretending that it’s a satanic substance that ruins lives; it’s not a stepping stone to anything other than real life and the severity of your choices. Substance abuse is a real problem but it’s also very unique to the individual and unique to the drug as well as the consequences that follow. Nobody has ever overdosed on marijuana. Let’s maybe start there.

      There’s a lot of research that needs to be done by this generation of whistle blowers (and for this topic, ‘whistle blowers’ means (baby boomers’); Information that has clearly been overlooked or dismissed by those who seem to have the strongest opinions. There’s very real evidence of lives that have been changed from the introduction of THC and CBD products and to deny those facts is disgusting.

      I’m tired of the concerns surrounding marijuana and the ignorance that people show towards other substances/drugs. Yes, it’s a drug. Yes, we need to regulate it. Yes, we need to control who can access it and at what age. But to think that we’re going to prevent the youth from ever touching it until legal age is silly. May as well close the liquor stores too then, cause nobody has ever bought for a minor before…… right?

  3. Jim Logagianes on

    Sadly all parents should be concerned about their childrens exposure to Marijuana at a young age.
    At ten dollars a gram the black market will now flourish as it has in California.
    Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are trying to destroy the Canadian Economy and Confederation
    Simultaneously. First let’s get everyone in Canada smoking weed and then bribe the National
    media with our tax dollars ( How would 3 billion dollars improve healthcare in Canada, Oh sorry, we don’t have a healthcare crisis do we).” Here’s and idea “(Listen to the bias reporting of the CBC or wait two years for elective surgery). It’s easier to brain wash the masses if there all stoned. Then we can pursue our tax and spend agenda without anyone noticing until it’s to late. History will show us that Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have turned Ottawa into a completely Dysfunctional Regime.
    We have never had a Prime Minister or a party that is so out of touch with the realities facing everyday Canadians. Sadly Canada, Marijuana laws are the least of our worries,it is just another distraction so that we will not realize how Incompetent our Federal Government has become.
    Federal Government Report Card:
    Military procurement-Fail
    Affordable Housing-Fail
    International Trade Agreements- Fail
    Healthcare-Fail
    Interprovincial trade barriers-Fail
    Excessive Taxation-A+
    Jeopardizing Confederation-A+
    Deficit Financing-A+
    Blocking Transparency-A+
    Destroying our future for generations to come-A+
    Spending billions needlessly -A+
    Turning Canada into a Banana Republic-A+
    Unlimited Immigration without any consideration for Canadians as a whole-A++
    Attention Canadians this is what happens when we allow “Mediocrity in Canadian Politics.
    What has nice socks no brains and specializes in Drama, you guessed it.

    • Jim, using a particular topic to serve as a platform for your distinctly radical views is somewhat unfair: By the way, how did you come to be such an authority on the street price for drugs? Your so-called report card is too ludicrous to even deserve comment; but I’m thrilled that you like Justin’s socks. With respect, your words sound far more like jealousy than objectivity.

  4. I’m all for legalizing. However I can respect a view that’s different to my own but I will say this …anyone who is concerned that the legalization of cannabis is some how the ” slippery slope ” that people are saying , then I hope those same people are actively trying to shut liquor licensed establishments down and are also trying to have any selling or consumption of alcohol outlawed and banned as well. I’ve seen for myself the death of someone directly related to alcohol so that better be in your sights as well !

    • The problem isn’t the substance, Jim. The desire to be inebriated is the problem. People from all walks of life struggle with painfully sad, and meaningless lives. They apparently seek to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. What they need is real love and hope for tomorrow, not anesthesia. Faith brings hope and real love. There is no substitute.

    • Jim,

      I am concerned that young people who would not use marijuana if it was illegal will now try it because it is. Cigarettes are bad, drinking in excess is bad. However smoking one cigarette will not affect the brain, drinking one drink will not affect the brain. However I do believe that smoking a joint will affect the brain. Please enlighten me if this is not the case (I have never smoked a joint so I don’t know)

      My fear also is that marijuana is a stepping stone especially for our youth to trying other drugs.

      Below is a little information on the effect taken from an article.

      Cannabis use that begins early in adolescence, that is frequent and that continues over time is more likely to bring about harms. Some of those harms may never fully go away.

      Youth are especially vulnerable to the effects of cannabis, as research shows the brain is not fully developed until around age 25. This is because THC, the substance which gives the “high” in cannabis, affects the same machinery in the brain that directs brain development. The higher the amount of THC in cannabis, the more likely one is to be harmed by it.

      • Sorry Judy, one cigarette or one drink is bad for youths. You’re wrong.
        This country and province has never had a good plan for control of alcohol or drugs. Yes, it’s illegal for tobacco to be sold to kids but it is not illegal for them to smoke it. The high school basically endorses it by having a designated smoking area.
        Yes, I agree 100% that young people should not have access to pot, but as with tobacco and alcohol they will get it, they are now and will continue to. The Fed’s agenda on this is primarily on making money and the rules that are in place are a ruse to make it look like they care when really they want to be the new pusher in town.
        The whole thing is a joke because in this part of the country who the heck is going to pay 10 times what it’s worth when you can grow it in your yard?

        • Thomas,

          Just want to set the record straight. I did not say cigarette smoking or drinking was ok for our youth. Absolutely not! It was in answer to Jim’s statement above saying that smoking marijuana was no different to smoking cigarettes or drinking. I was saying that one cigarette doesn’t alter the brain as does marijuana.

      • I think we all have grave concerns about the government becoming marijuana-pushers. There have been some studies which show how damaging it could well be for developing brains (and the brains of young people continue to develop until they are in their twenties). In addition, other studies have shown evidence that those who have an inherited, but latent, tendency to psychosis, could develop full-blown cases of psychosis, with repeated marijuana use. All in the name of increasing tax revenues for the federal government–who will probably waste it on nonsense anyway. SMH

  5. Murray Christenson on

    “The regulation identifies locational requirements to protect youth, through a requirement of a 150-metre buffer area to separate cannabis stores from schools.” Yup…that should protect our youth. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so sad.

  6. Folks .. google “marijuana health effects” and read the issues your self and take the appropriate action as you see it! Any time you need the police involved to ‘police’ any product with ‘new enforcement rules and policy’ etc etc ,,, be aware of ‘something’ you are not being told about the product! Any money ($$) collected is temporary because any profit from the drug will be used to treat the long term health effects of the drug via YOU paying more and more taxes! Watch what happens!

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