Toronto and Ottawa to have private cannabis stores

After the disappointment on Wednesday with Mississauga and Markham voting against opening private cannabis retail stores, investors were intently watching the Toronto and Ottawa city council votes on whether to allow private cannabis retail stores to operate in their cities or not. On December 13, both Toronto and Ottawa city councils voted in favor of allowing private cannabis stores to open in their cities.

The Toronto city council voted 20-4 in favor of allowing private cannabis retail stores to operate. In the Ottawa city council, Carol Anne Meehan put forward a motion calling on councilors to opt out of allowing private cannabis stores to open in their city, but only received support from Rick Chiarelli, and the motion was defeated.

Toronto and Ottawa Vote to Allow Private Cannabis Retail Stores

Although John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, voted in favor of private cannabis retail stores, he expressed his reservation on the Ontario government’s decision of not allowing municipalities to have control on the location of the stores in their cities. As reported by CP24, Tory said, “While today’s vote on cannabis will see Toronto become a part of a regulatory regime and allow cannabis retail stores, I do not believe it provides adequate ability for the City of Toronto to protect people and neighborhoods.”

In order to restrict cannabis stores coming up near schools and places associated with children, Tory put forward a motion asking the Ontario government to give municipalities more control on the location of the stores. The motion received unanimous support from the council. Municipalities in Ontario province have until January 22, 2018, to decide on whether to allow private retail stores in their cities.

After Toronto’s vote, the Ontario government announced it would distribute licenses to only 25 stores across the province, doing away with its original plan of no upper limit on the number of stores due to the significant shortage on cannabis. The licenses will be issued on a lottery basis and will be managed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Stock performance

Despite yesterday’s favorable outcome, cannabis stocks continued to fall on December 13. Canopy Growth (CSC) (WEED), Cronos Group (CRON), MedMen Enterprises (MMNFF), and Trulieve Cannabis (TCNNF) fell 3.8%, 4.5%, 7.6%, and 5.7%, respectively.

Since the beginning of December, Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, MedMen Enterprises, and Trulieve Cannabis have returned -8.1%, 24.4%, -4.5%, and -21.0%, respectively. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) has declined by 6.5% during the same period.

You may also be interested to read Canadian Cities Voted against Private Cannabis Retail Stores and Why the Green Organic Dutchman Has Partnered with HelloMD.

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