Cannabis shops dead in Mississauga unless the province runs it on a trial basis

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A long shot attempt to get the Ontario government to change its policy is likely the only way Mississauga will see cannabis shops in the near future.

If the attempt fails -- as Mississauga councillors have already been told it would -- users of legal marijuana are looking at a wait of almost two years until after the next municipal election when a new council settles in and possibly revisits the issue.

While Mississauga councillors this week for the second time officially nixed a plan to allow the cannabis stores to set-up shop, they did approve a motion asking Queen's Park to allow them to run the program on a trial basis under local zoning guidelines.

Many Mississauga councillors are not opposed to the concept of cannabis stores, rather they oppose the way they are allowed to operate.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said today (June 16) that concerns councillors have are with the clustering of stores in neighbourhoods and the proximity of the shops to playgrounds, schools, counselling facilities, child care and community centres as well as other sites that may be considered sensitive.

The mayor did concede that if this approach fails, it will likely take a new City council to consider the issue once again.

The Ontario government has been steadfast with it rules surrounding the operation and location of cannabis stores. Essentially it has told local municipalities that if they are to buy into the program they will have to opt-out of the ability to control matters such as how many stores will be allowed to operate and where they will be located.

Earlier similar inquiries by Mississauga were shot down and observers say Ontario will not change their position on the matter.

Mississauga, Oakville, Markham, Whitby and Vaughan are the only municipalities in the GTA to so far deny the operation of legal cannabis stores.

But just because there are no stores in Mississauga doesn't mean Mississauga users have been cut off. Many simply do their shopping out of town or have the product delivered by one of many services available. Others still purchase via the black market.


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