The Ottawa city council should vote in favor of allowing retail cookware stores, since they are allowed in next April, a move that seems to have the strong support of the residents, according to a report from the city team presented in Wednesday.
Nearly 24,000 people responded to a survey published online for two weeks earlier this fall, however, only about 16,000 of them were residents of Ottawa.
The vast majority of respondents in Ottawa – more than 12,000 respondents, or about 80% – are in favor of marijuana retail stores. Most said they would rather buy marijuana in a physical store rather than shop online.
The report also suggests that Ottawa could receive up to $ 1 million a year from provincial profits from cannabis revenue if it allowed stores.
Extraordinary meeting December 13
The new council received a copy of the heavy report at the end of its first meeting. It will not be discussed or debated until a special council meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 13, when the council will also hear the public delegations.
The board does not have much time to make that decision. The Ontario government has given new elected councils only until January 22, 2019 to tell if they want to host cannabis retailers.
Mayor Jim Watson said earlier that although he did not support a private retail model – he would have preferred that they be sold through the LCBO, as planned by the previous provincial government – he thought it was not reasonable to choose to leave.
The Ontario government has decided on a private retail model that gives municipalities little power over where the stores are located or how many can be opened. Instead, the Alcohol and Gambling Commission – the same agency that distributes liquor licenses – will be solely responsible for deciding who will receive a retail license.