Peterborough prepares for regulated pot shop next summer

Click to play video: 'Peterborough prepares for pot store'
Peterborough prepares for pot store
A government regulated marijuana store will be opening in Peterborough next summer – Dec 12, 2017

A government-regulated marijuana store is expected to open in Peterborough next summer.

The official list was announced late Tuesday with another 15 cities listed including Peterborough and nearby Lindsay.

“The Ontario Cannabis Retail Centre is the name of the subsidiary that will be operating these stores,” said Peterborough CAO Allan Seabrooke.

Peterborough’s store is to be one of the first 40 to open in Ontario. It’s expected the store will open next July when marijuana is to be legalized in Canada.

READ MORE: Kathleen Wynne says marijuana cost-sharing deal means more money for municipalities

Health officials with Peterborough Public Health are in favour of the store approach.

“I think it’s a safe and responsible way to provide cannabis and I’d rather see that than online sales,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, PPH’s medical officer of health.

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“Having it in a regulated store will help ensure it doesn’t get in the hands of underage youth.”

Seabrooke says the clock is ticking to have preparations in place for the pot store’s opening.

“The time frame is very tight to actually either build a building to do the sale of this to the public or to renovate an existing building somewhere in the city,” he said. “The province needs to go through the regular building permit stage that everyone does.”

Click to play video: 'Bill Morneau, finance ministers discuss revenue sharing with impending marijuana legalization'
Bill Morneau, finance ministers discuss revenue sharing with impending marijuana legalization

Government revenues from pot sales are expected to be quite high so the city hopes some of that cash will flow downstream.

READ MORE: Ottawa agrees to give provinces 75% of marijuana tax revenue

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“Some estimates have indicated that up to a billion dollars of revenue will be received by the federal government,” said Seabrooke. “And we, the Association of Municipalities, have indicated to the province that we should get some of those funds to be able to cover some of those additional costs which today are unknown.”

READ MORE: Cobourg medical marijuana facility ready to grow

Beside generating tax money, there are medical benefits as well, says Salvaterra.

“I think once cannabis is legal we will understand it better because, up until now, research has been limited since it hasn’t been a legal substance,” she said.

Seabrooke says before any decision on where the standalone pot shop will be located in the city, the LCBO subsidiary in charge will early in the new year consult with the public, ask questions and get feedback.

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