Will retail cannabis stores be allowed to open and operate in the City of Stratford?

That’s the question that City Council will begin looking at during their meeting Monday night.

City staff has prepared a report looking into the issue, now that pot is legal in Canada, with the expectation that council will make a decision whether stores will be allowed to operate in the city either at their meeting on December 17th or at their meeting on January 14th.

Staff says the city has until January 22nd to opt out of the retail cannabis program from the province and if they don’t opt out then stores will be allowed to open in the city beginning in April 2019.

Ontario has committed $40 million over two years to help municipalities with costs associated with legalizing marijuana.

City staff says that. as of December third, there were five expressions of interest from people looking to open cannabis stores and no negative comments about the stores opening have been sent to the city.

Stratford Police told the city that not having stores here will do little to limit the accessibility of cannabis and, to date, they have no issues with the legalization.

The┬ámeeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and it’s open to the public.