Burlington to get a cannabis store; city to provide input on locations

The Ministry of Finance and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario have identified Burlington as one of 40 municipalities set to have a cannabis store by July 2018. The LCBO will make the determination of where a cannabis store is located in Burlington.

The City of Burlington will work with the Ministry of Finance and the LCBO to develop guidelines and the process for choosing store locations. The guidelines will achieve the provincial objectives of protecting youth by ensuring stores are not close to schools while providing access in communities and addressing the illegal market.

For a list of locations in Ontario and for more information about the Cannabis Act, visit

In mid-December the province also passed legislation to regulate the lawful use, sale and distribution of recreational cannabis. Ontario’s Cannabis Act, 2017 will:

• Create a new provincial retailer, overseen by the LCBO, to ensure safe and socially responsible distribution of recreational cannabis through stand-alone stores and an online order service. Under Ontario’s approach, approximately 150 stand-alone stores will open by 2020, including 40 stores by July 2018, rising to 80 by July 2019. Online distribution will service all regions of the province by July 2018.
• Protect youth by setting a minimum age of 19 to use, buy, possess and cultivate cannabis in Ontario
• Ban the use of cannabis in public places, workplaces and motor vehicles, similar to alcohol
• Focus on harm reduction by allowing for the diversion of people under the age of 19 from the justice system into programs focused on education and prevention, avoiding unnecessary contact with the justice system
• Regulate the smoking and vaping of medical cannabis under the new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
• Help eliminate the illicit market, including illegal storefront dispensaries, by creating new provincial offences with strict, escalating penalties
• Keep Ontario roads safe by establishing even tougher drug-impaired driving laws, including a zero-tolerance approach for young, novice and commercial drivers.

My Take: The decision about getting a store is out of our hands, but we can and must ensure the location of any store minimizes potential negative impact to the community. Some location considerations include buffers from schools, libraries, or treatment centres, and avoiding major malls, entertainment complexes and retail areas with known parking issues.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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