Retail cannabis engagement

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Thank you for your visit. Public consultation has concluded.

*Although this survey is closed, you can now find information related to cannabis in Wasaga Beach on our website. Click here for more information.*

The Government of Ontario requires municipalities to 'opt-in' or to 'opt-out' of being a host municipality where retail cannabis sales can occur.

Recently, through a survey, we asked the community if the Town of Wasaga Beach should continue to 'opt-out' and not allow licensed cannabis retail stores or if the Town should 'opt in' and permit these businesses.

Our survey closed Sept. 4.

Please watch this page for updates on the survey findings, a recommendation

*Although this survey is closed, you can now find information related to cannabis in Wasaga Beach on our website. Click here for more information.*

The Government of Ontario requires municipalities to 'opt-in' or to 'opt-out' of being a host municipality where retail cannabis sales can occur.

Recently, through a survey, we asked the community if the Town of Wasaga Beach should continue to 'opt-out' and not allow licensed cannabis retail stores or if the Town should 'opt in' and permit these businesses.

Our survey closed Sept. 4.

Please watch this page for updates on the survey findings, a recommendation to council, and details about how council decides to proceed on this issue.

Background


In 2018, the Federal and Ontario provincial governments passed various legislation to legalize recreational cannabis. The Province subsequently passed the Cannabis Licensing Act and Regulations on November 15, 2018, which sets out how private cannabis retail businesses and retail store managers will be licensed, and how stores will be approved and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Wasaga Beach Council ‘opted-out’ of the initial cannabis retail store license lottery system in early 2019 and requested Town staff perform further analysis of potential community impacts of ‘opting-in’ in the future by monitoring ‘opt-in’ municipalities. A staff report brought to Council at the end of 2019 resulted in the Town maintaining its ‘opt-out’ status, and Council requesting staff continue monitoring “opt-in” communities. Staff were also directed to consult with the public.

If Wasaga Beach were to permit retail cannabis, the AGCO is required to initiate a public notice process in which the municipality and the public have 15 calendar days to provide comments about whether a proposed store is in the public interest. Municipal governments and landowners in the area will not be provided written notification of applications and must make themselves aware of retail store applications by checking the AGCO online portal. If Wasaga Beach were to permit retail cannabis, the Town’s role would be as a commenting body - offering zoning information, whether a proposed store is located within 150 metres of a school, or if there are any other considerations the AGCO should take into account. Cannabis retail would generally be a permitted use where current commercial retail uses are permitted.

There has been interest expressed from the business community to open cannabis retail in Wasaga Beach. Communities near to Wasaga Beach such as Collingwood, Barrie and Bradford ‘opted-in’ and have operating cannabis retail locations with more store location license applications in process. Other municipalities such as Midland, Orillia, and New Tecumseh have ‘opted-in’ however only have store location license applications in progress.

There is a wealth of information now online about cannabis, products, health impacts, etc., some of which can be found in the links below:

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Thank you for your visit. Public consultation has concluded.

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