TORONTO — Davenport MPP Marit Stiles participated in a press conference Wednesday with Toronto Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 13, Toronto Centre) and Paula Fletcher (Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth), who are calling on the City to endorse Stiles's bill to give municipalities more input in the location and concentration of cannabis stores. They were joined by Meg Marshall, Manager of the Bloorcourt BIA.
"Easy access to legal, recreational cannabis is a good thing, and something the NDP fought for, for many years," Stiles said. "But a flood of big, corporate cannabis shops is crowding out smaller, independent sellers and leaving our main streets without the diverse range of shops and services that make them great places to live, work and shop. We want cannabis shops to be part of the mix in our great neighburhoods — not the only things available.
“It's long past time we gave municipalities - with their planning expertise and local knowledge - a voice in the cannabis licensing process."
Stiles's Cannabis License Amendment Act calls on the Ford government to give municipalities a greater say in the licensing process for cannabis retail shops, using the existing model for liquor licensing regulated by the AGCO.
On Friday evening, Toronto City Council voted unanimously to support Stiles' bill.
Meg Marshall, Manager, Bloorcourt BIA:
"The Bloorcourt BIA is in support of all levels of government, including municipal, having a greater say in the licensing process for cannabis retail. Just as Liquor Licenses with the AGCO and the City establish provisions and conditions for each applicant, we would like to see this process applied to cannabis retail applicants."