Mayor of Richmond Hill says town not 'a willing host' for legal pot shop
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Thursday, December 7, 2017 1:32PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 7, 2017 1:56PM EST
The mayor of Richmond Hill says the town will not be a “willing host” if the province decides to open up a cannabis retail location in the GTA community.
Speaking to CP24 on Thursday, Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow said they recently received a letter from Ministry of Finance notifying them about the possibility of opening up a pot shop in the town after the anticipated legalization of marijuana in July 2018.
“Our original thought would be we’re not interested in having a recreational marijuana store in the Town of Richmond Hill,’” Barrow said.
At a committee of the whole meeting earlier this week, councillors voted in favour of letting the province know they are not “a willing host.”
All members of town council still need to vote on the motion before it is approved.
“That’s how we started the process and we’re subsequently are looking forward to having a discussion but we just wanted them to know right off the bat that we aren’t interested in having one.”
Barrow said there are still many unanswered questions around regulation and enforcement.
“We’re not sure where they (the stores) are going to be. We are not sure the criteria of how they are choosing locations. We are not sure how it is going to be organized and run. So those type of things, we need to have them slow down a bit and decide how we are going to do it,” he said.”
He also said council members have concerns about additional policing costs.
“It is another cost that where is that funding coming from,” Barrow said.
Richmond Hill is absent from the list the province has released of the first 14 cities that will host LCBO-run pot stores by July 2018.
The provincial government previously said it plans to secure more locations as part of its first batch of stores and will make cannabis accessible through an online retail site.
By 2020, the province plans to open up about 150 brick-and-mortar cannabis stores.
-With files from The Canadian Press