Council Votes to Opt-In to Retail Cannabis

On Oct. 17, 2018, the federal government legalized recreational cannabis in Canada. The minimum age for use of cannabis is 19, the same as for alcohol.

Ontario laws are in place regarding how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the province. Visit for information. The province has passed legislation that helps Ontario move forward with a regulated private retail model for cannabis that will launch by April 1, 2019. The provincial government has given municipalities in Ontario a one-time offer to opt out of the process and the deadline to make this decision is Jan. 22, 2019.

Since taking office, Council and Staff have been diligently reviewing information from multiple sources to aid in the decision making process regarding retail cannabis store fronts in Deseronto. 

These sources included but were not limited to correspondence from:

  1. The province of Ontario regarding the rules and legislation surrounding retail store fronts.

  2. Information from the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario about the restrictive regulatory requirements and the process involved for applicants to obtain licence consideration.

  3. Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit

  4. Municipal Administration

  5. Most Importantly- Feedback from the Community

As an additional tool to provide Council with as much information as possible, residents were asked to share their thoughts about whether they would be open to allowing stores that sell cannabis to operate within Town limits if in the event a successful application were granted by the Ontario Alcohol & Gaming Commission.

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey, open between December 19, 2018 and January 8, 2019.

Engagement Results:99 surveys were completed, 93 online and 6 paper.

18-24 3 3 0
25-34 19 11 8
35-44 21 1 16 6
45-54 22 1 14 9
55-64 17 1 11 7
65+ 11 3 6 8

38 said they would not be open to the idea of a retail outlet in Deseronto and 61 said they would be open to the idea.

After serious consideration and based on the source material provided and feedback received, at the January 9th Meeting, Town Council voted to not opt-out of this program.