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BRACEBRIDGE — Effective Oct. 17, anyone in Ontario wishing to buy cannabis will have to buy online through the province, but municipalities are tasked with deciding whether they want cannabis retail stores in their communities.

“Certainly, our priorities in the whole thing is that youth are safe, that roads are safe, that we work to make sure municipalities and neighbourhoods are safe,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller.

Miller says significant consultations with municipalities, Indigenous communities, law enforcement, public health and community groups are happening as the province works toward opening stores in Ontario.

“Ontario’s going with private retails stores and that’s trying to figure out where stores should be allowed,” he said, noting conversations around price minimums, common looks of cannabis retailers and what kinds of stores should be permitted to sell are also questions the province has been considering.

However, the province is handing a one-time opt-out option for councils to choose whether they want retail locations permitted in their communities.

“That would be something the newly elected municipalities, after Oct. 22, could, if they wanted to, decide to do,” said Miller.

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