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Brampton council opts-in on cannabis retail stores

​Brampton council opts-in on cannabis retail stores

Jan 21, 2019 by Graeme Frisque  Brampton Guardian

After months of public consultations and debate, Brampton council voted to opt-in to allowing private recreational cannabis retail stores within city limits at a special council meeting Monday.

Brampton was among the last GTA municipalities to its decision ahead of the provincial government’s Jan. 22 deadline.

The meeting was as contentious an affair as the debate leading up to it, with several passionate resident delegations addressing council on both sides. While a number of resident surveys by the town showed a majority in favour of opting in, it is not by much.

A phone poll by Environics commissioned by the city in November found 54 per cent of Bramptonians in favour of opting in. Forty per cent were against, while 6 per cent remained undecided.

Staff recommended the city opt in December, but at the time, council decided instead to host further public consultations and defer the vote until Monday Jan. 21. Those consultations didn’t change staff’s recommendation.

New wards 7 and 8 Coun. Charmaine Williams has been the most vocal opponent of retail pot shops in the city. She has made headlines with her “Not in ​our Hood” campaign, going so far as to take a page from U.S. President Donald Trump’s playbook, calling for a figurative “wall” around the GTA to stop the “pot shop invasion.”