Fort Erie decides to opt in on cannabis retail stores

Town of Fort Erie press release – Last night, Jan. 14/2019, at Council-in-Committee one of three public meetings addressed whether the Town of Fort Erie should opt in or out regarding cannabis retail stores.

Municipalities have until January 22/2019 to decide if they want to opt in or out of having cannabis retailers. If a municipality opts in they will receive financial compensation to address any associated societal costs. Additionally if they opt in they cannot opt out later.

If a municipality opts out they will not receive any monetary support, but there is no penalty or requirement to eventually opt back in. It should also be mentioned that opting out does not mean that cannabis will not be allowed in the Town of Fort Erie, cannabis is now federally legal, it just means retailers will not be able to set up shop.

Mayor Redekop thanked the various members of the community that presented solid arguments for and against cannabis retail stores. Opinions ranged from the negative impact cannabis have on the mental health of youth, the safety of having a controlled retailer with a controlled product, to the financial gains to the Town of Fort Erie.

Coming to a conclusion after these presentations was not easy, as the province has made numerous changes including the delay of Municipalities with populations under 50,000 not able to immediately get approval for cannabis retail locations. The province additionally has yet to fully expand on other elements as what opting in entails, including regarding additional financial compensation.

With all of this information the Town of Fort Erie Mayor and Council voted to opt in.

A full report is available here: CANNABIS RETAIL STORES OPT-IN/OPT-OUT REPORT