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Cannabis Legalization

Medical Cannabis Production Facilities in EG 
  

Federal law permits individuals to grow up to four plants for personal recreational use. However, with appropriate Federal registrations, individuals may, either personally or through a registered designate, grow more than four plants for their own medical use subject to limits set by their health care provider and Federal law. Since legalization, the Town has closely monitored medical cannabis production facilities in EG.
 
The Town is aware of properties in East Gwillimbury where personal medical licenses are being used to establish significant cannabis production facilities without required municipal approvals such as Zoning Permissions, Building Permits, and Emergency Service inspections. 

In response on June 9, 2020, Council approved an Interim Control By-law (ICBL) to freeze the development of such facilities in order to provide the Town with an opportunity to determine how these facilities can be appropriately regulated. Following the issuance of the ICBL, charges have been filed with the Provincial Offences Court for violation of the Zoning By-law, specifically for operating facilities contrary to the Planning Act. The Town is also working with external advisors to obtain orders against continuing production and construction. 

Virtual Panel Discussion 
On Tuesday July 21, 2020 Mayor Virginia Hackson hosted a panel discussion to talk about cannabis production facilities in East Gwillimbury. Panelist included Mayor Hackson as well as Detective Inspector Jim Walker from the Ontario Provincial Police and from York Regional Police Detective Sergeant Ahmad Salhia and Detective Constable Martin Kissi.  

This was an opportunity for residents to submit questions and learn more about how the Town and police services are addressing them. Staff gathered resident inquiries and grouped them together in an effort to cover as many as possible. A Frequently Asked Questions document is also being developed and will be posted here once complete. Watch the full presentation below:

 

Next Steps 

Staff will continue to work collaboratively with York Regional Police and neighbouring municipalities on enforcement matters. 

Staff will use the duration of the ICBL period to undertake a land use study and consult with the public to determine how cannabis production facilities can be more appropriately regulated within Town. The land use study will result in the implementation of a Zoning Bylaw Amendment and other land use policy or licensing regulations to effectively manage cannabis production facilities within Town. 

Questions/Concerns Regarding Cannabis Production 

If you have questions or concerns about a facility that appears to be proceeding without the necessary permissions and approvals posted please email the Town’s By-law department or call 905-478-4282 ext. 1123. 

Learn More

York Region, on behalf of the regional municipalities, has a list of frequently asked questions available for review. For further information please visit York Region's website. links to external site

2019 Council Position

At the January 8, 2019 Council meeting, Council passed the following resolution:

WHEREAS the full details of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s approval and enforcement framework for cannabis retailers have not yet been released; and

WHEREAS the Council of the Town of East Gwillimbury resolved at its January 16, 2018 meeting that it was “not a willing host for the first wave of implementation for marijuana dispensaries”; and

WHEREAS Council reiterate its position from January 2018, and request that the Town of East Gwillimbury not be included as part of the first wave of implementation of 25 retail locations licensed by the AGCO; and

WHEREAS the Council of the Town of East Gwillimbury remains committed to protecting the safety of its community and residents by keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and profits out of the pockets of criminals; and

WHEREAS a 15 day comment period for proposed retail locations to be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is insufficient given the timing of the Municipal Council meeting cycle; and

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Joint Legal & Council Support Services and Emergency & Community Safety Services Report LCSS2018-0links to external site, dated December 18, 2018, entitled Private Cannabis Retail Stores, be received; and

THAT Cannabis Retail Stores be prohibited from being located in the Town of East Gwillimbury; and

THAT staff be directed to prepare and present a municipal policy statement on Cannabis to address proposed locations when timelines do not permit a Council position. This policy statement will take into account not only the location of schools as noted by the provincial regulation, but other locations of vulnerability including but not limited to daycares, municipal libraries, parks, trailheads, community centres, arenas and facilities that serve persons with mental health or addiction issues; and

THAT staff be directed to prepare and present a Council workshop with internal and external experts to further educate members of Council on the matter; and

THAT staff be directed to review the Town’s smoking by-law to ensure it reflects the current context with respect to smoking, vaping, and/or cannabis consumption and report back with any recommended changes; and

That Council declares its intent to review the matter within a year, and directs staff to monitor the provincial implementation and report back in January 2020 with recommendations on whether or not to lift the prohibition; and

THAT the Municipal Clerk be directed to provide notice of this resolution to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario per the requirements of the Ontario Cannabis Licence Act.

York Region, on behalf of the regional municipalities has gathered the answers to these and other frequently asked questions for your review. For further information please visit York Region's website. links to external site
York Region, on behalf of the regional municipalities has gathered the answers to these and other frequently asked questions for your review. For further information please visit York Region's website. links to external site
York Region, on behalf of the regional municipalities has gathered the answers to these and other frequently asked questions for your review. For further information please visit York Region's website. links to external site
York Region, on behalf of the regional municipalities has gathered the answers to these and other frequently asked questions for your review. For further information please visit York Region's website. links to external site