On January 11th, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) held a lottery to determine who would receive a cannabis retail operator licence in five Ontario regions. The east region included Ottawa, Kingston and Barrie, resulting in five individual lottery winners.
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It is still unclear if any of the five winners selected in the east region have plans to open a store in Kingston, and during Thursday’s police services board meeting, concerns were raised about the lack of power the municipality has in the event a private operator chooses to open a business in the Limestone City.
“All of the licensing and all of the screening of those who would run these particular establishments will be handled provincially by the AGCO,” said Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson.
According to Paterson, the city has no role in deciding who can and cannot operate in Kingston, which he says has limited his power of controlling the locations of local cannabis shops.
The mayor told Global News that his main concern with private cannabis stores is proximity to schools, as well as addiction and mental health centres, which is why he is asking the province for more power.
The city, meanwhile, says there has yet to be any interest in Kingston from any of the east region lottery winners.