TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2017 : Municipal governments now have some clarity in planning for the legalized sale of marijuana with the Province's announcement today of a cannabis control board, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) said.
The legal sale of marijuana will have a broad impact on municipal services and responsibilities, and our local communities. Now that the Ontario Government has made this decision, municipal governments can move forward with other aspects of legalization.

"One of our key concerns has been local influence on where retail outlets are located in our communities," said AMO President Lynn Dollin. "Under a provincial Crown Agency, the rollout of storefronts must begin with willing municipalities and a municipal voice on where the drug is sold to ensure community safety."

Location is just one concern, however. Municipal governments will have major roles and interests related to:
•proper enforcement of new regulations (such as driving under the influence, as well as licensing for designated grow operations);
•potential impacts on emergency services;
•public health education and awareness; and,
•maximizing opportunities for local economic development.

Since it was first announced in April 2016, AMO has been working closely with municipalities and the federal and provincial governments on how to implement the safe, legal sale of marijuana. AMO welcomes further input on how the provincial control board would ensure local say in the location of retail outlets. Municipal governments will also need revenue from marijuana sales to finance new or added responsibilities.

"We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the federal and provincial governments on the critical details," Dollin added. "We need to make sure that municipal governments have the authority to serve the best interests of our residents and communities, and that we have the resources needed to do so."

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.

(Posted on 12 September 2017, 1695515888 34O204O181O91)