Communities and municipalities in Ontario that opted out of having retail cannabis stores

Published Feb 13, 2019 02:02 p.m. ET

On January 22 of 2019, the Ontario provincial government held a draw for 25 winners of the cannabis store owning lottery. The provincial government took submissions from hundreds of hopeful participants who were all wanting a shot at opening one of the first legal dispensaries in Ontario. The province was one of only a few that chose not to allowany retail marijuana stores to open on October 17, 2018, when cannabis for recreational use was finally recognized as legal by law right across the country. After what seemed to Ontarians to be too long, the province unveiled their plans to allow each municipality to either opt in or opt out of the chance to host a retail marijuana store within their boundaries.

The results of these decisions have now been made public, with many Ontarians pleasantly surprised that Ontario Municipalities took an overwhelmingly positive stance towards the idea of legal weed being available within their neighborhoods at some point in the near future. While opting in did not guarantee the area any sort of storefront immediately, the framework is now laid out going forward as far as the future of Ontario cannabis and where these establishments will be allowed to operate.

How many Ontario municipalities have opted out of having retail cannabis stores?

All Ontario municipalities have now been granted the option to opt out of the marijuana retail game completely. The final date of January 22, 2019, for submissions, has come to pass and the complete list has been published for the public. So far there have been 6 municipalities, 46 townships, 43 townships, 19 towns and villages, and 4 cities that are not interested in hosting a legal cannabis dispensary. Here is a complete alphabetical list of all of the cities, towns, townships, and Ontario municipalities to opt out so far.  

Township of Adjala,

Township of Amaranth,

Township of Baldwin,

Township of Beckworth,

Township of Blenheim,

Bluewater Municipality,

City of Brantford,

Township of Brudenell,

Town of Caledon,

Village of Casselman,

Township of Centre Wellington,

Township of Chapleau,

Township of Chapple,

Township of Clearview,

Township of Conmee,

Township of Dorion,

Town of East Gwillimbury,

Township of East Hawkesbury,

Township of East Zorra- Tavistock,

Township of Emo,

Town of Erin,

Township of Frontenac Island,

Township of Georgian Bluff,

Town of Georgina,

Town of Grimsby,

Township of Harris,

Town of Ingersoll,

Township of James,

Township of Jocelyn,

Municipality of Killarney,

Township of King,

Township of Lake of the woods,

Town of Lakeshore,

Township of Lanark Highlands,

Town of Lasalle,

Township of Mapleton,

City of Markham,


Municipality of Markstay,

Township of Matachewan,

Township of Mcdougall,

Township of McGarry,

Township of Mckellar,

Township of Melancthon,

Town of Milton,

City of Mississauga,

Town of Mono,

Township of Muskoka Lakes,

Town of Newmarket,

Town of Niagara on the Lake,

Township of North Huron,

Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula,

Township of Norwich,

Town of Oakville,

Township of Oro-Medonte,

Township of Papineau-Cameron,

Town of Pelham,

City of Pickering,

Township of Pickle Lake,

Town of Wyoming,

Village of Point Edward,

Municipality of Powassan,

Town of Richmond Hill,

Township of Sables- Spanish Rivers,

Township of Severn,

Township of Southgate,

Township of Southwold,

Township of St. Claire,

Township of Tay,

Town of Tecumseh,

Municipality of Temagami,

Township of Tyendinaga,

City of Vaughan,

Township of Wainfleet,

Town of Wasaga Beach,

Township of West Lincoln,

Town of Whitby

Those cities, towns, and municipalities that have not responded or opted out by January 22, 2019, will by default become legal areas that marijuana retails stores will be able to function within. This was a one time offer and is not changeable once dispensaries begin to open. No established marijuana vendor will be asked to close their doors because the city, town, or municipality they are located in has had a change of opinion. This was a one time deal offered as a compromise for those who aren’t yet prepared to host the culture change that can be expected to happen due to a location choosing to operate in their region.



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