Markham

Markham Council Votes to Opt Out of Retail Cannabis Stores

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

News Page

MARKHAM, ON –  December 12, 2018 —   During a Council Meeting today, Markham Council voted 12 to 1 to opt out of retail cannabis stores. This decision was made to further protect the health and well-being of Markham residents and ensure local community needs and concerns are fully addressed.

"We still have a lot of unanswered questions about community safety, about the impact to families and children,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “This vote by Markham Council reflects the concerns we have heard throughout the community. We have taken this position with the previous government and we applaud the Provincial Government for giving municipalities the choice to opt out.”

The Ontario Government provided municipalities with the authority to decide whether to opt in or opt out of having retail cannabis stores, in addition to implementing local restrictions on the smoking of cannabis in public places. Private cannabis stores will be legal in Ontario as of April 1, 2019 for those municipalities who choose to opt in.

Markham's City Clerk will provide written notice of Markham's decision to opt out to the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, in accordance with the Cannabis License Act, 2018.

The City of Markham requested that the Ontario Government provide financial support to municipalities regardless of whether they opt in or opt out, as municipalities face additional costs associated with the legalization of cannabis.

On October 16, 2018, Markham Council passed a new Cannabis By-law [PDF] that prohibits the smoking and vaporizing of recreational cannabis in any public place in the City of Markham. Markham was the first municipality in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to pass such a by-law.

To learn more, visit markham.ca/cannabisinfo.

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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416-671-2890.

For all other media inquiries related to this news release: Erynn Sally, Media Relations Coordinator at esally@markham.ca or 416-737-2684.

MARKHAM, ON –  December 12, 2018 —   During a Council Meeting today, Markham Council voted 12 to 1 to opt out of retail cannabis stores. This decision was made to further protect the health and well-being of Markham residents and ensure local community needs and concerns are fully addressed.

"We still have a lot of unanswered questions about community safety, about the impact to families and children,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “This vote by Markham Council reflects the concerns we have heard throughout the community. We have taken this position with the previous government and we applaud the Provincial Government for giving municipalities the choice to opt out.”

The Ontario Government provided municipalities with the authority to decide whether to opt in or opt out of having retail cannabis stores, in addition to implementing local restrictions on the smoking of cannabis in public places. Private cannabis stores will be legal in Ontario as of April 1, 2019 for those municipalities who choose to opt in.

Markham's City Clerk will provide written notice of Markham's decision to opt out to the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, in accordance with the Cannabis License Act, 2018.

The City of Markham requested that the Ontario Government provide financial support to municipalities regardless of whether they opt in or opt out, as municipalities face additional costs associated with the legalization of cannabis.

On October 16, 2018, Markham Council passed a new Cannabis By-law [PDF] that prohibits the smoking and vaporizing of recreational cannabis in any public place in the City of Markham. Markham was the first municipality in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to pass such a by-law.

To learn more, visit markham.ca/cannabisinfo.

-30-

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416-671-2890.

For all other media inquiries related to this news release: Erynn Sally, Media Relations Coordinator at esally@markham.ca or 416-737-2684.