Brampton City Council voted Monday night to opt in and allow private retail cannabis stores in the city, but the case isn’t closed. Brampton will be working with the province moving forward, and here’s everything you need to know.

Council voted to allow cannabis retail shops

Council voted 8-3 to allow cannabis shops in the City. Councillor Charmaine Williams, a vocal critic of opting in, along with Councillors Gurpreet Dhillon and Harkirat Singh (Ward 9-10) also voted to opt out. Wards 9-10 showed a higher concentration of residents against opting in than anywhere else in Brampton.

The city will continue to work with the province

While the vote to opt in didn’t pass unanimously, a vote that the city continues to collaborate with the province to ensure Brampton has more control did receive a vote from the entire council. City staff, at the recommendation of council, will continue to work with the province to hash out additional details moving forward and to ensure Brampton receives the revenue it needs to offset costs.

Brampton will get a decent share of the pie

Now that all municipalities have made their decision, Brampton is starting to get a better idea of how much money it will get from the province. The Ford government earmarked $40 million to be split between the cities and towns that opted in. Brampton is expected to receive anywhere between $1 million to $2.9 million. This money will go towards covering the city’s associated costs with having pot shops, like bylaw enforcement, security and 311 support.

More authority to regulate

In addition to opting in, council also voted that the city request additional regulatory authority from the province to dictate exactly where cannabis stores will be located in the city. Currently, the location of shops will be approved by the province, and cities will have 15 days to comment on and provide feedback. But Brampton is requesting further authority to restrict where pot shops go based on their proximity to sensitive areas like schools, libraries, community facilities, youth centres and other places of that nature.

More funds for policing

While Brampton has opted in, the city’s regional partner and neighbour to the south, Mississauga, has opted out. Since the two cities share the same police force, and additional officers will be needed to potentially police Brampton and not Mississauga, the city is requesting that the allocation of dollars towards policing properly reflect this.

The city may prohibit usage in public

Councillors have asked for the region to look into possibly prohibiting the use of lit cannabis in public. A bylaw may be amended to restrict consumption of lit cannabis in public places like trails, parks and sidewalks, as well as 150 metres from daycares, libraries, community centres, halfway houses and more.

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