City of Port Colborne Council members have a decision to make: to opt-in or opt-out of permitting licensed retail cannabis outlets in the city. They are seeking input from the community before making this decision on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.
Opportunities for community to PORTicipate:
• Online/print survey
To access the survey online, visit: www.portcolborne.ca/page/cannabis
Print copies of the survey will be available at City Hall, 66 Charlotte Street until Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 and on Jan. 2, 2019. During the holiday closures, residents can obtain copies at either the Port Colborne Public Library, 310 King Street from Dec. 13 – 22 and 27 – 30, or Vale Health & Wellness Centre, 550 Elizabeth Street, which is closed Tuesday, Dec. 25. Since City Hall is closed during the holidays, residents can return the survey to the after hours drop boxes at both City Hall and the Vale Health & Wellness Centre.
The survey should take five minutes to complete and will close Jan. 2, 2019 at 7 p.m.
• Telephone survey
The City of Port Colborne has contracted Oraclepoll Research Ltd. to conduct telephone interviews with residents drawn from a random sample of the population. The City is encouraging residents to accept calls from Oraclepoll; calls should last approximately five minutes.
• Attend the Public Information Session on Jan. 2, 2019 at City Hall, 66 Charlotte Street, from 5 to 7 p.m.
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments until 7 p.m. on January 2, 2019.
After City staff have completed their consultation of the community and key stakeholders they will be drafting a report for council that will be discussed on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 in Council Chambers, 66 Charlotte Street. The report will be available in the council agenda on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Council will be making a decision at this meeting before presenting formal feedback to the Province before the Jan. 22, 2019 deadline.
Some of the facts:
On October 17, 2018 the Federal Government legalized recreational cannabis and it is now legal to purchase and use cannabis for recreational purposes across Canada. In Ontario, currently the only way to legally purchase recreational cannabis is online through the Ontario Cannabis Store, but beginning in April 2019 it will be available for purchase through private recreational cannabis retail stores. The Provincial Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) is charged with licensing, regulating and enforcement of private cannabis retail stores. The Ontario Cannabis Store will be the exclusive wholesaler to these retailers. The AGCO will begin accepting applications for new stores in December of 2018, with the intent to have private retail stores operational by April 1, 2019.
For additional resources regarding the legislations of cannabis in Canada and retail cannabis operations in Ontario, visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/cannabis.