Niagara Falls Council considers impact of cannabis cafes

Niagara Falls City Council is mulling over the idea of cannabis cafes to help bolster tourism.

The Ontario government is collecting feedback on how the public feels about 'pot lounges' for when legalization rolls around this summer.

Many advocates for legalized marijuana claim the government has been too restrictive on cannabis consumption so far, and allowing these cafes could be a big step forward.

One of the people speaking up in favour of the idea is Niagara Falls resident Clarke Bitter, who told City Council about a study he helped conduct.

"The impact in the Niagara Region if this is allowed, cafes and consuming, could be as much as 3,500 jobs in the first year. That's a lot of jobs. These would be new establishments because it wouldn't be allowed in the same place as alcohol."

Bitter went on to urge councillors to look further into the idea, and suggested hosting a public meeting on the topic.

During the meeting, Councillor Wayne Thomson says he has begun talks with Niagara Falls Tourism to gage the reaction from local hotels.

The province is accepting feedback on its proposals until March 5.

In November, the Falls was selected as a location for at least one cannabis store.