Ontario is on the brink of something big. With Doug Ford’s landmark decision to privatize recreational cannabis, the province will undoubtedly reap the benefits of the tax dollars that are sure to follow. However, not everyone is looking at this favorably. For one, Richmond Hill’s mayor plans to ban recreational marijuana stores in his town.
Mayor David Barrow bluntly stated on Metro Morning,
“we would not like to have a recreational marijuana store in our town”
What are His Issues
The Mayor expressed concerns that the Federal Liberals, under Justin Trudeau, are moving too quickly for his liking. David Barrow accuses them of not putting enough thought into the real world practical realities of legalization. Of the Liberal Party he stated, “When you’ve got your act together, we’ll be happy to talk to you.”
Barrow has also expressed concerns about whether municipalities will receive tax revenues from the sale of cannabis within their borders. The Mayor believes that municipalities such as Richmond Hill have every right to deny entry to marijuana stores within their city limits… But do they?
How is This Possible
Barrow himself was unsure whether he had the right to deny cannabis businesses entry into Richmond Hill, but he was keen to express his discontent over the whole process. He let it be known that his town would not be a willing participant in legalization at the very least.
“Richmond Hill is not a willing host of a cannabis retail location in our community”
Ontario’s Conservative government has a cautious, but ambitious plan for legalization. Legalization will come in October of 2018, which leaves roughly 3 months to set up the 40 stores that Doug Ford has promised. 2020 will see that number more than triple to 150 marijuana dispensaries. With 70 ‘grey market’ pot shops conducting business in the GTA as of this present date, legalization is sure to be accompanied with a legislative nightmare.
Whether Richmond Hill’s mayor will be able to ban recreational marijuana is still an open-ended question.
By: Stefan Hosko