Clarington Council voted to opt in and allow privately-owned cannabis retail stores to operate within its limits and will be eligible to host, potentially, one of six stores slated to open within the GTA.
“By no means was this a unanimous vote, cannabis legalization remains a polarizing issue,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster. “In the end, council decided to go ahead and opt-in allowing our taxpayers to reap the benefits from a growing industry.”
By opting in, on a four-to-three vote, Clarington will receive $86,782 to help with the cost of legalization, including enforcement. The municipality may also be eligible to receive more money from the province, which has promised to potentially share 50 per cent of the federal cannabis excise tax with municipalities if it receives more than $100 million in the first two years.
Initially, 25 stores will be allowed to open in Ontario. By opting in, one of the businesses who won the provincial lottery can choose Clarington as a potential location for its cannabis store.
Clarington also has four licensed cannabis producers operating in the municipality, with interest expressed from several other companies. Those large producers help boost Clarington’s economy by creating jobs. Cannabis is a multi-million dollar industry that continues to grow.