By Mike Williscraft
While Niagara West municipalities take different routes to answer the “opt in – opt out” question on retail cannabis, one thing is consistent local officials say – they have little information on which to base their decisions.
Monday night at West Lincoln council, cannabis got a thumbs down.
Coun. Trombetta cited safety and the lack of police officers as the reason
for his vote for the motion, which passed 6-1.
“We don’t have a sustainable police presence to help protect us on this,” Trombetta said.
“Opting out of this would be beneficial for our community.”
In Grimsby, Coun. Randy Vaine, who said he was prepared to vote “opt out” until he read up on this issue, has changed his mind…at this point.
“We need to think beyond four years, beyond the term of council,” said Vaine.
“People can still grow it. We would have all the same problem (as opt-in communities) without the financial support to pay for the transition.”
The provincial government has said a fund, similar to the tire tax pool, will be set up with proceeds being distributed to opt-in communities.
Grimsby will have a public meeting Jan. 15, will start a survey and conduct phone surveys to obtain public input.
Mayor Sandra Easton said two staff reports are expected shortly – one dealing with shops and the other, grow-ops.
“In January staff are bringing two reports forward to Council. One proposes an interim control by-law as well as a recommendation on opting in/out of cannabis retail,” said Lincoln CAO Mike Kirkopoulos.