August 30th, 2021

Give municipal leaders more say in pot shops' location: York South—Weston MPP

YORK SOUTH—WESTON — NDP MPP Faisal Hassan said the Ford government should pass the Ontario NDP's bill calling for municipalities to have a stronger say in the location and distribution of private cannabis stores within their communities.

Hassan held a town hall on the issue last Thursday to hear from community members, as a proliferation of cannabis stores in his riding have raised concerns from residents and local business owners, including residents opposed to an application for a pot shop deemed too close to a school.

"The Ontario NDP pushed for legalization of cannabis, and we continue to support legal, well-regulated retail cannabis sales," Hassan said. "But residents and small business owners are rightfully concerned that the explosion of cannabis stores could impact the diversity and character of local neighbourhoods, and come at the expense of other local small and medium-sized businesses—many of which are struggling to stay afloat as the pandemic goes on, and in the face of insufficient financial support from the Ford government.

Municipal leaders in York South—Weston and across Ontario deserve a stronger say in the distribution of pot shop licenses locally, to avoid a situation where some neighborhoods have no pot shops and others have a strip of them."

An Ontario NDP bill tabled in the fall of 2020 by Davenport MPP Marit Stiles calls for the strengthening of municipalities' role in distributing pot shops locally.

"The Ford government must take action to pass the NDP bill quickly, and ensure communities benefit from legalization while maintaining diverse main streets," Hassan said.