Update on Cannabis Opt-in Decision

Tonight was the first regular council meeting of the new council and they had a full plate.  But first, they had photographer Ted Amsden (no longer Poet Laureate) take photos of the Council and a second one of Council and senior staff.  Thanks to his setup, I managed to get one of him with the council and staff – see below.  Mandy Robinson then gave a presentation on the history of Town criers and how they were important in distributing news from the monarch.  Her presentation was followed by reports on some transactions for businesses coming to Lucas Point, an agreement on the draft procedural bylaw to go to the public meeting on January 28, some routine motions and then the hot one – the decision to “opt-in” on retail Cannabis stores in Cobourg.  Given that it was close vote at the Committee of the Whole (4-3), there was a chance that it would not get approved at the Regular Council meeting.

Council and Senior Staff
Council and Senior Staff

Given the uncertainty, Brian Darling asked for a recorded vote.  But before the vote was taken, Suzanne Séguin read out a long rationale on what research she had done in the last week. She established some key facts:

  1. The amount of the first payment for Cobourg is $11,759.
  2. The County of Northumberland will also receive $51,199.
  3. As well as a second payment, only opt-in municipalities will be eligible to receive possible additional payments after October 2020
  4. FSD Pharma’s on site “store” will dispense medical marijuana only and then only after they get their license for Medical cannabis.

Download Suzanne’s full report in the Link below.

Based on her new understanding, Suzanne changed her vote so it became 5-2 with Mayor John Henderson and Councillor Emily Chorley still voting to opt-out. That means the Town will now advise the Province that it will be opting in and when store licences are available, they may be located in Cobourg.

Meanwhile I note that there are at least two Cannabis stores operating openly on Alderville First Nations land.

Stay tuned for more on Monday’s twin meetings – the regular Council meeting and the Public meeting on budgets.

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Walter L. Luedtke
15 January 2019 4:13 pm

Hmmmm.
Very interesting.
Deputy Mayor Seguin wasted no time in rowing back and joining the winning side to get the princely sum of $12,000 for Cobourg’s coffers. Perhaps she could have done her research a bit earlier.
Councillor Chorley, who is all in favour of public input and consultation, defied the ‘will of THE PEOPLE’ a second time, but at least she stuck to her principles of protecting Cobourg’s youth from early childhood cannabis addiction – no weed shops near day cares.

Rob
15 January 2019 10:54 am

The financial incentive is to be used for: Increased enforcement (e.g., police, public health and by-law enforcement, court administration, litigation), Increased response to public inquiries (e.g., 311 calls, correspondence), Increased paramedic services, Increased fire services, By-law / policy development (e.g., police, public health, workplace safety policy) – even without the financial incentive opting-in was the only rational decision. I’m glad to see DM Seguin had a moment of clarity.

Will be interesting to see how the Province addresses Alderville First Nation retailers currently operating without regulation/authorization. I understand they have had contact with the Mayor, the Chief and will soon be engaging the OPP. Stay tuned.

Frenchy
Reply to  Rob
15 January 2019 1:02 pm

I wonder if the Province might address the cannabis situation the same way they address the tobacco situation in Alderville. That is to say… ignore it?

Kyle
Reply to  Frenchy
15 January 2019 2:40 pm

They certainlly will not touch any of the illegal cannabis outlets in Alderville

manfred s
Reply to  Frenchy
15 January 2019 3:15 pm

so Frenchy, are they in fact ignoring it and do you have any inside info on this that you might share, to support your wondering? If not, your comment is just, well, what you like to call “clutter”.

Rob
Reply to  manfred s
15 January 2019 3:50 pm

One could say, the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour…. 🙂

manfred s
Reply to  Rob
15 January 2019 4:02 pm

and especially when we elect politicians who tout their “experience” as a qualification or good reason to do so, Rob. Then we wonder why things just seem to stay the same until the next time. lol

Frenchy
Reply to  manfred s
15 January 2019 5:14 pm

Wondering does not need support. Wondering is just, well, wondering.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
16 January 2019 1:18 pm

Bright beings! that ponder,
With half closing eyes,
On the stars which your wonder
Hath drawn from the skies,
— Edgar Allan Poe

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Wally Keeler
16 January 2019 4:12 pm

Now that raises the bar on this blog, Wally.
Nice change from ‘calling BS’ on stuff.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
16 January 2019 5:26 pm

It helped that you write less of that stuff worth calling.

Old Sailor
15 January 2019 9:15 am

I don’t disagree with Council’s opt-in decision.

However Council members should familiarize themselves with the town’s actual annual revenue and expense streams before approving projects just because the town might receive a $5-15,000 gross revenue benefit from a project. Like opting-in or that inflatable vinyl beach summer project.

For 2017 the town’s overall revenue was approximately $50 million resulting in an excess of $5 million of revenue over expenses.To me the impact of a project on the town’s residents is more important than the town receiving an immaterial sum of money for the town coffers.