Mississauga city council voted Wednesday to opt-out of allowing private retail shops to sell cannabis in the city.

Mississauga councillors felt they were being rushed into making a decision without any planning or control over the process which led to a motion to say no for now, and potentially opt-in at a later date.

Councillors want to wait and see how retail stores affect other municipalities in the coming months before it decides.

As for Brampton, councillors discussed the issue in their first week in session and have asked city staff to seek further input from the public before it makes its decision.

The official recommendation is that Brampton say yes to retail cannabis stores in time for the January 22 deadline.

City staff conducted a public opinion poll and the results show 54 per cent of Brampton strongly or somewhat supports opting in. 40 per cent strongly or somewhat oppose retail stores, while six per cent are undecided.

The same city poll says that, of residents who would use recreational cannabis, 62 per cent would prefer to obtain it from a retail outlet as opposed to 29 per cent from the online Ontario Cannabis Store website and nine per cent plan to grow it at home.

At least one Brampton city councillor — Charmaine Williams, ward 7/8 — has been vocally against retail cannabis stores in Brampton. Wiliams is concerned about the social implications, including crime.

Location of potential cannabis stores compared to school buffer zones

Should Brampton move forward cannabis stores will be allowed in any commercial-retail zone already noted in the city. City staff have identified locations where stores could be located (above).

Council is expected to receive results from the additional public consultation this January and will decide on legal pot shops in Brampton prior to January 22.

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