Province Providing More Funding For Recreational Cannabis in Mississauga
The provincial government is partnering with the Peel Region and other municipalities to take on the illegal cannabis market.
On Tuesday (August 20), the province announced the funding of $6.74 million to municipalities through the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund (OCLIF).
The government is also investing $3.26 million to support municipalities with enhanced enforcement against illegal cannabis operations.
“Municipalities are important partners in the implementation of recreational cannabis legalization,” said Rod Phillips, the Minister of Finance. “We look forward to continuing to work together to protect our youth and communities and combat the illegal cannabis market.”
OCLIF was announced in 2018 as a $40 million initiative over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization.
Earlier this year, municipalities received $30 million and another $10 million was set aside to address costs from unforeseen circumstances related to the legalization of recreational cannabis. Priority was given to municipalities that did not opt-out of hosting retail cannabis stores.
Mississauga opted out of allowing private cannabis retailers, saying it wanted to study the operations in other municipalities before opting in.
The city has indicated it could opt-in in the future.
Municipalities had one chance to opt-out of permitting retail cannabis stores within their boundaries. The deadline to opt-out was January 22, 2019.
Municipalities must use the funding to pay for costs directly related to the legalization of recreational cannabis.
Another investment of $3.06 million will help with enhanced enforcement through provincial joint forces cannabis enforcement teams, led by the Ontario Provincial Police. This is in addition to a targeted investment of $200,000 to the Toronto Police Service to support their efforts in combatting illegal cannabis operations in the city.
“Enforcement teams work on a regional basis and are available to all municipalities and First Nations,” Phillips said. “This collaborative approach enables law enforcement to target crime across the province in a coordinated, consistent way.”
The government also plans to build a safe and convenient retail system to combat the illegal market by issuing up to 50 additional new cannabis store retail store authorizations.
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