Council Approves Cannabis Retail Outlets

Collingwood Council has voted unanimously to approve the creation of Cannabis Retail Stores within the municipality.

Here is the motion approved by council on Monday January 14, 2019:


C2019-01 Consideration of Cannabis Retail Stores in Collingwood

THAT Council receive Staff Report No. C2019-01 entitled ‘Consideration of Cannabis Retail Stores in Collingwood’ for information purposes, and herein authorize the following:

Option 1 (Recommended based on public consultation)

THAT Council herein Opt-In as a municipality that will permit cannabis retail stores and authorize the Clerk to advise the AGCO Registrar;

AND THAT Council approve the Municipal Cannabis Policy Statement as attached;

AND FURTHER THAT Council delegate authority to the Director of Planning and Building Services to coordinate and respond to cannabis retail store applications from the AGCO pursuant to the approved policy and matters deemed appropriate through a consultative process.


Mayor Brian Saunderson felt the vote around the council table was very much guided by the level of engagement the Town of Collingwood received from the public.


But the best evidence before us today I think supports the opting in decision in the sense that it does assure a safe supply for what is now a legal product in Canada.
Mayor Brian Saunderson

“I think it has been overwhelming, a) the response and b) the preference of our residents. Having said that I take all the comments from around the table and from the Deputy Mayor about the actual process … this is legislation that emanated from the Federal Government and then came down to a Provincial Government that has since changed. There has been three changes in the regime about how it was going to be implemented from the time the Wynne government put it in place to the election and how it got modified any number of times and may still be modified. But the best evidence before us today I think supports the opting in decision in the sense that it does assure a safe supply for what is now a legal product in Canada. It does ensure a safe place of purchase and as well it provides us with a funding source that we may use because we know the cost for the municipality and all municipalities will go far beyond just the enforcement.”


Deputy Mayor Keith Hull says Cannabis Legislation by Upper Levels of Government is “Half-assed”

Deputy Mayor Keith Hull thanked staff and members of the community the level of engagement on the issue.

In reviewing the governmental roll-out process of the legalization process, Hull used the term “half-assed.”

“It was in the context of the legislation that was proposed and passed by the current federal government and now being implemented nation-wide by our provincial governments and territories. I have followed politics for decades and I can’t think of another piece of legislation that quite frankly has been mishandled since day one from the top coming down and has put the onus on municipalities, the 444 municipalities across the province to deal with these issues.”


Councillor Yvonne Hamlin says she believes council has an obligation to make sure that the quality of what is provided is safe.

Councillor Yvonne Hamlin says she believes council has an obligation to make sure that the quality of what is provided is safe.

“I also believe that we have an obligation to make sure that it can be can be acquired in a safe place and not everyone is able to make avail of online purchasing for various reasons. I would like to see retail stores available so that we have a safe quality, a safe place and to get the sale of this product out of the back alleys of our community.”


“I will always as a retailer vote for free enterprise”
Councillor Bob Madigan

Councillor Bob Madigan said 77 percent of the people taking the town survey voted in favour of Collingwood having a cannabis retail outlet or outlets.

“1420 people participated In the survey, so the people have spoken. I’m not for or against recreational use but I will always as a retailer vote for free enterprise. If we don’t do this people are still going to get marijuana through the mail, from web sites. If we don’t opt in we won’t get the funding and there is still going to be marijuana in the community.”


Councillor Mariane McLeod Wonders Why Signage Banning the Smoking of Marijuana on Downtown Streets Isn’t Already In Place

Councillor Mariane McLeod expressed concern over a current lack of signage throughout the downtown district to prohibit the smoking of marijuana. She asked Town of Collingwood CAO Fareed Amin why signage isn’t already in place given the fact that it has been well known the legalization of marijuana was coming.

Mr. Amin said the whole process of legalization of recreational marijuana has been a moving target.

“I think it is only recently that there has been some certainty attached to the actual roll-out of this policy so we’re going to be working as quickly and as diligently and as expeditiously as we can to try to bring this forward as quickly as we can but I think it is important that we coordinate whatever we do with the health authorities and also make sure that we’ve got the requisite enforcement resources in place so that we can put forward a regulation that has the teeth behind it which would be the enforcement aspect .”

CLICK HERE to read the Cannabis Staff Report



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