After several hours of presentations, pointed questions and a passionate plea from rookie Coun. Carol Anne Meehan to opt out, Ottawa city council has voted to allow retail cannabis stores to open for business starting in April 2019.
Councillors remain concerned that the Ontario government will likely leave cities on the hook for associated policing, bylaw and health costs, but won’t give them a say in where the shops can open
Municipalities only had one choice to make: to opt in or out.
“This is a bad deal,” said Meehan, as she urged her colleagues to join other big cities such as Markham and Mississauga and work together to try to negotiate more powers over pot shops.
Cities that opt out can always opt back into cannabis stores.
An opt-in, however, is irreversible.