Tags: government, hamilton, lcbo, marijuana, niagara falls, pot
The province has named the first 14 cities where it will set up government-run marijuana stores this coming July. Hamilton made the list, but Niagara did not and tourism officials are stunned.
“I’m shocked, I think it’s a real bad business decision. This is Niagara Falls 14 million people a year come here and this is certainly going to be a drawing card.” Wayne Thomson, Niagara Falls tourism.
14 communities have been chosen for the first wave of stand-alone, LCBO-run stores including Toronto, Missisauga, Windsor and Ottawa. Locations of those stores haven’t been decided yet.
When picking these initial locations the province looked at cities that had a large number of illegal stores operating with a goal to push them out. The Niagara region has about 7 illegal dispensaries according to the Niagara regional police. Hamilton, which did make the list has at least two dozen operating in the city. The province says Niagara will be considered in future rounds.
The province plans to set up about 150 stores by 2020. Consumers will also be able to access cannabis through an online retail website.
The LCBO says its representatives, along with staff from Ontario’s Ministry of Finance, will meet with the municipalities in the coming weeks to determine the exact locations. The public will also be notified about the proposed store locations and will be asked to provide feedback directly to the LCBO.