Opting Out of Legal Weed Stores Would Be Costly, Says 2 London Councillors

Article by Andrew Lupton, CBC News

Opting out of legal weed stores would be costly, says 2 London councillors Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn Email Coun. Shawn Lewis, Josh Morgan see no upside to opting out, saying it will cost the city revenue Andrew Lupton · CBC News The province is moving ahead with licensing of retail pot shops, but municipalities can opt out by Jan. 22. Two London councillors say they see no benefit to opting out. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)

On paper, the City of London can just say no to allowing privately-run retail marijuana stores in the city. But on a practical level, two councillors say opting out and effectively banning legal pot shops in London is a bad idea.

In a report prepared for the Protective Services Committee, Rosanna Wilcox, the city’s director of economic innovation, makes it clear that opting out means forgoing a significant share of the revenue.

The province has announced plans to share $40 million in pot revenue with municipalities over the next year to cover increased administrative and policing costs.

Here’s the break down:

  • $10 million is earmarked for “unforeseen circumstances” related to cannabis legalization. This would be prioritized to communities that say yes to pot shops.
  • An initial payment of $15 million has already been allocated on a per-household basis. London’s share of that is $450,991.
  • After Jan. 22, Ontario communities that say yes to retail stores will split an additional $15 million, with their share based on a per-household basis.
  • Municipalities that opt in will be eligible for a 50 per cent share of the retail pot revenue that exceeds $100 million in the first two years following legalization.
  • Municipalities that opt out will only get $5,000.

Under rules laid out by the provincial government, municipalities have until Jan. 22 to say whether or not they will ban marijuana retailers.

If a municipality opts out, they can opt back in at any time. However, once they opt in, there’s no going back to a ban.

Read the full article here.

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