A small group of around 25 members of the public showed up at a Committee of the Whole meeting in Picton to
see a recommendation made on whether or not to allow retail cannabis stores in the county. (Photo: John Spitters/Quinte News)
Although it wasn’t the final decision, Prince Edward County’s Committee of the Whole has wholeheartedly supported “opting in” to allow retail cannabis stores in the municipality should the opportunity arise in the future.
Council will make a final decision at a special meeting next week (January 15) although there will likely be no change since only Mayor Steve Ferguson voted against opening the county to street level retail sales at the committee meeting tonight (Wednesday).
The mayor supported the ideas of resident Dick Jones who suggested the county opt out at this point and wait and see what actually happens with retail sales and regulations saying very little was known at this time.
Municipalities have the option of changing their mind on the issue if they choose to opt out at this time.
However, everyone else on council voted to be a willing host to retail cannabis.
Councillor Jamie Forrester said he wanted to take the criminal element out of the game. “I’m almost 60 years old and pot has been around here and available 24 hours a day to anyone who wanted it ever since I can remember. I’d rather we didn’t have to have specialized security in these stores. I’d rather see it sold in regular stores. I think we’re making a big deal out of nothing. Marijuana has always been around.”
In two separate surveys, almost two-thirds of county residents supported allowing retail street level sales of cannabis.
One man told the committee that he used marijuana to help with depression and that he had several friends who used it to help them with various conditions.
“I’d rather buy it from a store like the LCBO or Beer Store where taxes are collected instead of having to buy it from people I don’t really know.”