City Recommends Endorsing Ontario’s Pot Plan But Wants Province To Commit To Funding

Article by Ramna Shahzad, CBC News

City recommends endorsing Ontario's pot plan but wants province to commit to funding Recommendations will be considered by the licensing and standards committee on Monday. The city of Toronto has brought together an interdivisional working group to identify concerns it has regarding the legalization of cannabis and its impact locally

A report by the city’s municipal licensing and standards department, which will be discussed at city hall Monday, recommends that council endorse the province’s plan on pot legalization — though it makes it clear Toronto needs help funding its implementation.

The Ontario government announced a framework to manage the sale and use of marijuana last week. The plan includes an online ordering service, roughly 150 stand-alone stores and a proposed minimum age of 19 to use, purchase and possess recreational cannabis in Ontario.

Tracey Cook, executive director of city’s municipal licensing and standards department, said the report aims to “outline areas of interests we believe the city has and should be asking for the province’s assistance with.”

The city wants the province to work with the Toronto Police Service to develop enforcement strategies to eliminate illegal cannabis sales and to make sure the city is properly funded when it comes to implementing those strategies.

The report cites a need for the province to consult directly with the city when it comes to developing regulations for home cultivation of cannabis.

The city also wants the province to take into consideration the city’s concerns when it comes to determining which locations will be cannabis storefronts and for the province to “empower the city with municipal enforcement tools to use against storefronts operating illegally.”

“We feel it’s important our community interests are considered,” said Cook. “We would not want to see storefronts happening near high schools or public schools.”

Read full article here.

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