Number Of Cannabis Retail Stores In Aurora Should Be Capped, Councillor Contends

Number Of Cannabis Retail Stores In Aurora Should Be Capped, Councillor Contends
Number Of Cannabis Retail Stores In Aurora Should Be Capped, Councillor Contends

Retailers trying to open up new hashish shops in Aurora might see their goals go up in smoke if Council will get its method.

Final week, Council greenlit a movement from Ward 6 Councillor Harold Kim calling on the Provincial Authorities and its Alcohol and Gaming Fee of Ontario (AGCO) to “now not settle for any additional hashish retail functions for the City of Aurora” and put a cap on what number of such shops are allowed in a municipality.

Councillor Kim, who opposed Aurora “opting in” to retail hashish gross sales in January of 2019 stated with a geographic space of seven km by 7 km and a inhabitants of 64,000, the 13 present hashish shops in Aurora are greater than sufficient.

“I voted in opposition to this as a result of I didn’t really feel the have to be the primary municipality within the space to approve. Why? My concern was if we have been one of many first to permit retail hashish shops, we might get greater than our fair proportion of hashish shops and, certain sufficient, that’s what has transpired,” he stated. “On this present day, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and others have nonetheless not permitted. Subsequently, it’s no shock that hashish entrepreneurs have flocked to Aurora.”

The City of Whitchurch-Stouffville is the one different York Area municipality to equally opt-in to retail hashish gross sales, however this was not talked about throughout the debate.

“Some have instructed to me, ‘Why don’t you let the free-market system work? If we now have too many shops, some will go bankrupt and attrition will occur.’ Sure, I agree. Nevertheless, within the meantime, we’re not taking part in in an equitable taking part in area. Provide and demand is skewed as a result of we’re one of many few islands of free enterprise for hashish. Restricted geography is delaying the pure evolution of the free-market system, which is able to carry attrition, finally. Within the meantime, Aurora residents endure the consequence of streetscapes being affected by hashish shops.”

Whereas Aurora doesn’t grant permits for such shops – that falls underneath the purview of the AGCO – he stated the Province, regardless of us “dwelling in a free-market nation”, ought to set a cap as a result of the precedent is already there in limiting the variety of grocery shops that may promote beer, wine and cider.

“This movement isn’t just for the potential good thing about Aurora, however hopefully different municipalities,” stated Councillor Kim. “Having insurance policies in place so that they don’t get the deluge and intensification that Aurora has skilled in two-and-a-half brief years.”

Councillors have been largely in favour of the movement, with Ward 2 Councillor Rachel Gilliland stating that “quite a lot of us actually didn’t perceive that we have been going to explode the best way that we did.”

“We have now had plenty of reviews coming again asking what number of we’ve obtained,” she stated. “It has confirmed somewhat little bit of a nuisance.”

One concern expressed by Councillor Gilliland was funding associated to opting in.

Funding was to be supplied by the Province to municipalities opting in to handle a number of the challenges that might include retail hashish, together with bylaw enforcement and schooling.

Aurora’s Director of Finance Rachel Wainwright-van Kessell stated the City acquired funding “early on” in this system however that cash has since been spent and so they’re not anticipating any further funding presently.

“I wish to see the Province step up and provides us somewhat additional funding to handle a number of the additional servicing we have to be doing, similar to bylaw and York Regional Police as a result of there are particular issues of their jurisdiction that they’ll reply to,” stated Councillor Gilliland.

Additionally supportive was Mayor Tom Mrakas who stated Council has “talked about this lengthy and onerous concerning the reality the Province…might need made a mistake.”

“Many municipalities have been speaking about this,” he stated. “I do know a lot of my mayoral colleagues have been having conversations across the desk; I do know it was an enormous dialogue on the Small City Mayors conferences and with reference to this we introduced this up not solely to the Premier but in addition the Prime Minister that the impacts that is having on our communities – sure, it may be a authorized product, however shops are simply popping up like loopy. There ought to be a cap on it and hopefully the Province will [make] the required modifications that may see some kind of cap are available.”

The movement handed unanimously.

HAVE YOUR SAY – Does Aurora have too many retail hashish shops? Ought to the Province place a cap on retail shops or ought to the “free-market” determine? Ship your ideas to [email protected].

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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