Staff recommend having retail cannabis stores in Ottawa

City staff have recommended Ottawa allow retail cannabis stores to operate in the city as of April 1, 2019.

Among the reasons:

  • to deter the black market
  • economic benefits
  • quality control of the product
  • public input
  • access to more money from the province 

The city's online survey received a record number of responses at 23,800. Nearly 16,000 were Ottawa residents. 

78% of those surveyed online were in favour of opting in. 

A random phone survey received more split results with 48% in favour and 43% opposed. 

Councillor Rick Chiarelli said he plans on voting to opt-out because the municipality still doesn't have control over the number or location of stores. 

The issue will be debated at a special council meeting on Dec. 13.