Article by Bill Hodgins, Kawartha Lakes This Week
Pot smokers should be able to get their fix in the City of Kawartha Lakes next summer.
In a letter sent to the municipality late last month, the Province advised the City that it has been identified as a location for at least one initial cannabis retail store by July 2018.
“We will be reaching out to your office immediately to schedule a joint meeting with staff from both our offices and the LCBO,” the letter for the Ministry of Finance states.
The municipality was not on the first list of 14 municipalities targeted to launch the program, but the Province has said conversations with additional municipalities are happening now.
A City spokesperson confirmed a meeting was taking place between ministry officials and Kawartha Lakes CAO Ron Taylor Wednesday (Dec. 6).
In September, the Province announced its “safe and sensible framework” to govern the lawful use and retail distribution of cannabis as a carefully controlled substance. This framework includes the Liquor Control Board of Ontario overseeing retail sales through new stand-alone stores and online ordering.
The Province has said the LCBO will use guidelines to identify specific store locations with the objective of ensuring that youths are protected and the illegal market is addressed. This includes ensuring stores are not located in close proximity to schools.
The idea hasn’t been accepted well in some municipalities. In Richmond Hill, council passed a motion this week stating it is not a willing host of a cannabis retail location in the community. That motion received unanimous approval Dec. 4 at Richmond Hill’s committee of the whole meeting.
The matter has yet to go before Kawartha Lakes council, but some members approached by This Week seemed to align with their colleagues in Richmond Hill.
“I don’t agree with it at all,” Coun. Gerard Jilesen said. “It makes no sense.”