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Muskoka Considers Cannabis Stores

Any cannabis consumer that has been to Ontario’s cottage country knows there are few places better to enjoy the plant. Just as beer and wine drinkers romanticize over sitting on a dock at sunset enjoying their favourite Chardonnay, marijuana lovers pine for the same experience.

This week, it may just happen for the Muskoka region.

The Township of Muskoka Lakes is asking for public input regarding whether or not the region should have cannabis retail stores. “We are putting some questions on our website and also encouraging the public to reach out to council to make sure their voice is heard,”says Phil Harding, Mayor of Muskoka.

The questions being asked include: “Does the municipality wish to opt out of allowing retail stores?”, “Does the municipality wish to regulate the location of cannabis production facilities through the zoning bylaw?”, and “Does the municipality wish to place further restrictions on the consumption of cannabis within the township?”

The results of the survey will not ultimately determine whether the council will agree to allow cannabis sales, it is simply to gauge public interest and any opposition to the idea.

Councillors and other officials have started to weigh in on the idea and many of them seem to want to wait and hear public opinion before making their views known one way or another. “I, like most other councillors, will want public input,” says Councillor Allen Edwards. Incoming councillor Glenn Zavitz agrees, stating “I would prefer to reserve my comment and position on this issue until I am a councillor and I am more informed regarding the survey citizen temperature and I better comprehend the ‘opt-in/out’ township exposure from legal and planning implications that our chief administrative officer is exploring at present.”

The deadline for residents to complete the survey is Dec 7.

Photo by WookieInHeat, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42524818