After lengthy discussion, delegations made by the community, presentations by Scott Lawson, Wellington County OPP and Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, Centre Wellington Council decided to opt out of Cannabis Retail stores in Centre Wellington.
“We have our resident’s best interest at hand” said Mayor Kelly Linton. “At this time, we are not confident in allowing cannabis retail storefronts within our municipal boundary. Thank you to our residents for taking the time to voice their concerns, and fill out our survey on Connect CW. I envision that storefronts will require additional bylaws, which in turn increases taxes. We are not prepared at this time to offset this onto our tax base.”
From November 21 to December 9, residents were encouraged to fill out the Township’s survey, outlining their views on either opting in or opting out of cannabis retail stores in Centre Wellington. Over 1,603 residents participated in the survey. The final results indicated;
• 64.1 % of people SUPPORT cannabis stores in Centre Wellington,
• 33.4 % of people DO NOT SUPPORT cannabis stores in Centre Wellington
• 2.4 % of people were undecided
• 49.3 % of people prefer to purchase cannabis in a legal private store
• 38.1 % of people do not use cannabis
• 7.1 % of people prefer to purchase cannabis on the Provincial website
• 5.6 % of people prefer to grown their own cannabis
The Ontario Government provided municipalities with the authority to decide whether to opt in or opt out of having retail cannabis stores, in addition to implementing local restrictions on the smoking of cannabis in public places. Private cannabis stores will be legal in Ontario as of April 1, 2019 for those municipalities who choose to opt in.
The Township’s Clerk will provide written notice of Centre Wellington’s decision to opt out to the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, in accordance with the CannabisLicense Act, 2018.