By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
The city’s guidelines on retail cannabis stores will include a provision limiting one business to each of Oshawa’s five wards.
City council passed the staff-recommended location guidelines for stores at its latest meeting.
However, Ward 5 city and regional councillor Brian Nicholson brought forth an amendment asking for a limit of one retail store per ward.
Nicholson said this would “spread [stores] around” so one area of the city isn’t overwhelmed with potential problems.
Ward 2 city councillor Jane Hurst agreed, calling it a “very fair” amendment.
However, Ward 4 city and regional councillor Rick Kerr thought the city shouldn’t put a limit on the market.
“It’s like having one gas station in each of the wards,” he said.
Commissioner of development services Warren Munro noted the city’s guidelines are just a framework, and provincial legislation takes precedence over municipal regulations.
Despite this, the amendment passed with Nicholson, Hurst, Ward 3 city councillor Bradley Marks, Ward 1 city and regional councillor John Neal, Ward 2 city and regional councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri and Mayor Dan Carter in favour.
The city’s first cannabis retail store, Tokyo Smoke, opened in July on Laval Drive.
Two more applications were selected in the latest lottery by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) but their applications were later disqualified.
Those applicants are part of an ongoing legal challenge of the province’s lottery process for cannabis stores.