77 out of 414 Ontario municipalities opt out of retail cannabis stores

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TORONTO – Fewer than 20 per cent of Ontario’s municipalities have declared themselves unwilling to have cannabis stores within their boundaries, at least for now.

Municipalities had to tell the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario by Tuesday if they were opting out, and the final list posted Wednesday indicates that 77 out of 414 did so.


READ MORE:
More than half of Ontario municipalities opt in for cannabis retail stores

That means that more than 330 municipalities could host pot shops when the first locations open in April.

Many of the 77 opt outs include small towns and townships, but also include the cities of Mississauga, Markham, Pickering, Vaughan and Oakville.


READ MORE:
Marijuana use on the rise in Ontario even before legalization: survey

Currently, recreational marijuana can only be bought in Ontario through a government-run website, but 25 entities were selected through an AGCO lottery to apply for retail licences.

Several municipalities that opted out say they want to first see ramifications of retail cannabis elsewhere, and will reconsider allowing store fronts in their own region at a later date.

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