Stratford News St.Marys Council votes to allow recreational cannabis stores SHARE ON: Casey Kenny, staff Wednesday, Jan. 9th, 2019 Fire in St.Marys being investigated as arson. Photo supplied by www.stmaryskinsmen.com. Add St.Marys to the list of places that will allow recreational cannabis stores to set up shop. Citing its economic benefits, noting its legality and similarity to other regulated items, and doing so with the support of the Stratford Police Service, St.Marys Council voted unanimously at their meeting Tuesday night to opt-in and allow the stores. Municipalities across Ontario have until January 22nd to inform the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario if they will opt in or opt out of retail cannabis sales. Ontario has committed to providing $40-million over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization, with each municipality receiving $10-thousand in total. If the province collects more than $100-million in duty from cannabis sales over the first two years of legalization, it will provide 50 percent of the surplus to municipalities that have opted in. It’s not known when stores could start selling in St.Marys as, due to a national shortage in cannabis supply, Ontario is only awarding 25 store licenses in the initial phase of private recreational cannabis retail starting April 1st and municipalities that are eligible must have a population of at least 50 thousand. Stratford City Council is set to make a decision on allowing the stores at their meeting on Monday.