Mississauga’s City Council voted to allow retail cannabis stores in the city on Wednesday following a previous ban on pot shops there since legalization in 2018.
The Council voted 8-4 to opt in and allow the stores and one of Ontario’s largest municipalities will now start developing a cannabis retail landscape.
“Today, the choice to opt in or out of legal cannabis retail stores returned to the Council floor in Mississauga, where elected officials said ‘yes’ to enabling growth in the legal cannabis marketplace rooted in selection, service and quality,” said the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) on behalf of its President and CEO David Lobo in a news release Wednesday.
The OCS says its supports the decision which will help displace the illegal market in the province’s third largest city.
@citymississauga votes 8 to 4 to opt in and allow cannabis retail
#CannabisCommunity @Cannabis_Canada great debate and congrats to @DipikaDamerla who showed stellar leadership. Mississauga has 1 million residents. @MayorCrombie created a welcoming environment for discussion
— George Smitherman (@G_Smitherman) April 19, 2023
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Leading Canadian cannabis retailer High Tide Inc. (Nasdaq: HITI) (TSXV: HITI) (FSE: 2LYA) also applauded the move, stating that it would help to protect public health in Mississauga.
“Today’s vote is a victory for everyone who wants to drive out the sale of illegal, untested and non-age-gated cannabis within Mississauga and paves the way for new jobs and investment to come into the city,” said Omar Khan, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer of the company.
“As Mississauga’s experience shows, where legal and regulated cannabis sales are prohibited, unregulated, criminal elements will fill the void,” he added.
Ontario police charged a man in connection with an illegal cannabis extraction lab in London earlier this month after raiding a high-end home that was found to have approximately $8 million worth of illicit merchandise inside. The cops now have an arrest warrant for a second individual involved.
“Investigators seized 162 litres of cannabis resin valued at $8.1 million, along with other marijuana products, magic mushrooms, MDMA, two loaded guns, ammunition and other items,” police told The London Free Press on April 11.
According to data from Statistics Canada, the country generated nearly $4 billion in cannabis sales from licensed retailers between 2021-2022.