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Guelph to get cannabis store next summer

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie said he's been told by the province that a cannabis shop will open in the city next summer.
Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie said he's been told by the province that a cannabis shop will open in the city next summer. File / Global News

Guelph will be getting a retail cannabis store next summer when the drug is legalized.

Mayor Cam Guthrie said he received a message from the province Tuesday morning informing him that one of the stores, to be run by the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), will open in the Royal City in July 2018.

READ MORE: Ontario government outlines first 14 cities to host cannabis shops

But the location has not yet been decided.

“(The province) want to speak directly to us and also engage with the community on where the best location would be,” Guthrie said. “I do not have a preference at all. I believe community engagement is required on that first.”

However, Guthrie does have concerns about these pot shops popping up around town and believes Guelph, along with other municipalities are faced with a lot of uncertainty.

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READ MORE: Ontario government says it won’t put LCBO-run cannabis stores near schools

“This is new waters that we are wading through here,” he said. “We might not know either the benefits or consequences for some time. As a parent, I’m not especially pleased, but I’ve been told by the province and others that they do take this controlling of the substance very seriously.”

Earlier this month the province named the first 14 cities that will receive standalone cannabis stores next year. Kitchener was among those named then.

The LCBO will run the shops through the OCRC and approximately 150 standalone cannabis stores are expected to be set up by the province by 2020. The first batch of 40 stories will open in 2018 with that number rising to 80 stories by July 2019.