PUFF PUFF PASS: Councillors want moratorium on new pot shops

Motion by Coun. Wong-Tam wants council to endorse private member’s bill demanding greater say from municipalities on new cannabis licences

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With cannabis shops popping up around Toronto like weeds, two city councillors want council to endorse a private members’ bill they’re hoping will nip the problem in the bud.

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The motion, tabled by Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam and seconded by Coun. Paula Fletcher, asks council to endorse Bill 29 and ask the province enact a moratorium on new retail cannabis licenses for either one year, or until Bill 29 gets royal assent.

The bill passed first reading on Oct. 26.

Council, said Wong-Tam, has often expressed dismay at the concentrated proliferation of cannabis shops in the city.

“There’s very little influence that council has over these matters,” she said.

“Especially since the city opted to allow these retailers to come in.”

While Wong-Tam supported the legalization of cannabis, she told the Sun the city has the responsibility to ensure clusters of weed stores don’t usurp the diversity of other main street businesses — particularly as the city’s economy rebounds from the pandemic.

“They’re squeezing out smaller stores, they’re squeezing out the diversity and variety of retailers that we need for us to have these vibrant main streets,” she said.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter:   @bryanpassifiume

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