With the legalization of recreational Cannabis in Canada, the Province has introduced legislation to allow privately owned retail stores to sell the product and to establish regulations on its sale and use. That could potentially mean that there would be stores in Cobourg that would sell marijuana starting April 1, 2019. After public consultation, the Province has decided to allow Municipalities to ban or regulate such stores with a decision on this required by January 22, 2019. Brent Larmer, Cobourg’s Municipal Clerk, has recommended a meeting to consult with the public and will then report to the new Council before the due date. At their meeting on October 1st, Council agreed with this proposal (without any discussion), although no date or location has yet been set for the Public meeting.
Federal and Provincial Legislation will already regulate these stores and their location. They must not be anywhere near schools, you will only be able to buy 30 grams (about an ounce) at a time and the Province will be the only wholesaler. Stores will be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and there will be a provision for public input on each license. Between October 17th and April 1, another agency the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), will be the exclusive online retailer for legal cannabis in Ontario. Consumers 19 and older will be able to purchase cannabis via OCRC’s online retail platform. The OCRC will also be the exclusive wholesaler to future private retail stores. See the links below for more on this.
Brent listed the considerations for his report:
- Federal and Provincial framework;
- Land use management;
- Business regulation;
- Public consumption;
- Cannabis in the workplace for municipal employers; and
- Enforcement issues.
So far, regulations seem to be a mix of those already in effect for alcohol and smoking. Banned in enclosed spaces, banned for youth, etc.
But the idea of a formerly illegal drug now being legally sold will no doubt be a concern to some people so the Town is wise to ask for public input. To help with the legalization, the Province has also promised that municipalities will receive at least $10,000 to support the transition to legal cannabis – details on this are yet to be announced. One obvious cost is the need for test equipment to determine if drivers are “high”. Although the Ontario Government has set dates and released planned regulations, the enabling legislation has not yet passed – although it has been introduced into parliament.
- Report from Brent Larmer on Cannabis Legalization – includes Appendix with a briefing from the Province.
- Ontario Government Regulations on how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the Province.
- What you should do about Pot Download a transcript of an Article in the Cobourg Sentinel Star on January 4, 1968 – Times have certainly changed since then – document supplied by Wally Keeler.