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John Tory wants municipalities to have more say about cannabis store locations

Last Updated Dec 10, 2018 at 12:23 pm EDT

Medical marijuana is shown in Toronto, Nov. 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling on the province to give municipalities more power in deciding where pot-shops should be placed.

The mayor says it’s important for the safety of children and general public health that shops not be located near schools.

“I continue to be concerned about safety for children, public health, and the proximity of cannabis stores to places like schools,” Tory said in a statement.

“While I don’t believe saying ‘no’ to cannabis retail stores in our city is a practical position, we should be maximizing safety and the protection of children and neighbourhoods from any negative effects that may come about as a result of these stores.”

At Thursday’s city council meeting, it will be recommended that the city opt-in to provincially-licensed cannabis stores.

Tory said it wouldn’t be practical to opt out of the stores.

A report to be presented before council warns that prohibiting legal cannabis stores would have the unintended consequence of encouraging the illegal market to continue to operate.

Cannabis retail stores are expected to open on April 1, 2019.

The stand-alone stores can be open any day between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., but they must be at least 150 metres away from schools and bar entry to anyone under 19 years old.

A market concentration limit of 75 stores per operator has been set.

Until April, cannabis can only be legally purchased from the online Ontario Cannabis Store.

With files from The Canadian Press

Related Links
Ontario releases cannabis regulations for retail stores set to open April 1
Inside the Ontario Cannabis Store distribution facility
Ontario won’t cap private pot shops once retail sales begin Apr. 1

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