Smiths Falls town councillors have agreed to back a recommendation from Mayor Shawn Pankow to push the provincial government to allow the town’s marijuana growing facility to have its own retail sales outlet.
Currently proposed provincial legislation to regulate the sale of “recreational” marijuana provides for a limited number of retail outlets, with the two closest to Smiths Falls being in Kingston and Ottawa, said the mayor. The province’s plan, drafted in anticipation of federal legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use as of July 1, 2018, should be amended to allow the Tweed Inc. facility at 1 Hershey Drive to have its own retail outlet, he said.
Such an outlet is expected to create about 10 additional local jobs.
This would create no extra cost to taxpayers, and would have a positive impact on tourism and the economy, said Pankow. “It would draw people to our community.”
“I certainly endorse that,” commented Councillor Chris Cummings.
The province’s plan as it currently stands is to have the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LBCO) oversee about 150 cannabis retail outlets. The LCBO presently operates 650 liquor stores with employees who are members of Ontario Public Service Employees union.