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Give City Your Feedback on Future of Cannabis Lounges and at Events in Burlington

Photo by Get Budding on Unsplash
Photo by Get Budding on Unsplash

*Please see the media release below issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — Feb. 14, 2020 — The City of Burlington is asking residents to share their thoughts about whether cafes and lounges serving and allowing the consumption of cannabis should be allowed to operate in the city. This survey will help inform the discussion at Burlington City Council on Feb. 24 to respond to the Ontario Government’s online consultation for potential cannabis business opportunity additions. The City’s survey will also ask residents their feedback on potential extension of Special Occasion Permits (SOPs) identified in the Ontario Government’s online consultation. SOPs would allow cannabis to be served and consumed at festivals and events in public places and spaces.

To help gather the community’s input, the City has also launched an online survey at open to Burlington residents until Sunday, Feb. 23. To complete the brief survey, residents must first register or be a member of Get Involved Burlington.

The Ontario Government’s public consultation was announced on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 and the province will accept feedback until Tuesday, March 10, 2020.


  • On Oct. 17, 2018, recreational cannabis was legalized by the federal government of Canada.
  • On Jan. 14, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to allow the operation of retail cannabis stores in Burlington
  • On Apr. 1, 2019, the first round of brick and mortar, privately-operated retail cannabis stores opened across the province
  • The AGCO is licensing and enforcing regulations related to retail cannabis stores in Ontario
  • On June 26, 2019, Health Canada published regulations for the production and sale of three new classes of cannabis products:
    • cannabis edibles – cannabis products that can be consumed in the same manner as food (e.g. food or beverage)
    • cannabis extracts – cannabis products that are produced using extraction processing methods or by synthesizing phytocannabinoids (e.g., oils, capsules, hash, wax)
    • cannabis topicals – cannabis products that can be used on a body surface (e.g. lotion)
  • These new federal regulations came into force on Oct. 17, 2019 and the new classes of cannabis products became available for sale in Ontario on Jan. 6, 2020.
  • The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) and the regulations under that Act prohibit the smoking of cannabis and the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to vape any substance (including cannabis) in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places, as well as other prescribed places (e.g., restaurant and bar patios or within nine metres of these patios). 



The legal sale of cannabis products through registered businesses, which I have always supported in Burlington, is still a new venture in our city. We are one of the first municipalities to embrace this new form of business. I encourage our residents to take the City of Burlington survey and also share their comments with the Province. I look forward to both the staff report and the results of our community survey related to the Province’s latest announcement of its online consultation for potential cannabis business opportunity additions. My initial concerns in expanding the locations of cannabis purchase and consumption are around the possibility of our residents facing second-hand smoke in areas where they are already protected from this under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. As well, how potentially increased consumption in proposed new locations may affect our residents’ experiences of the outdoors and at outdoor community events.

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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10 thoughts on “Give City Your Feedback on Future of Cannabis Lounges and at Events in Burlington”

  1. John to assume every resident/taxpayer is looking at the City Web Site regularly is not realistic. People have busy lives. Many Seniors are not computer literate and we are a city of Seniors, the most in the country. We need some proper manner of notification when the City is undertaking an important survey or event. We get flyers for example, when there is a traffic disruption due to a run of some kind on our roads. Technology is only a tool, not the be all and end all, besides we are getting tons of junk e-mail all the time so a lot just gets deleted. So in future properly inform us about important issues using all forms of communications.

    1. Hi Cheryl, John Bkila here again. Thank you for sharing your feedback. The City of Burlington always endeavours to share communications on all of its channels – both traditional and digital – whenever it can.

      In this case, due to the tight timeline of when the Province made its announcement, and the need to get some public feedback by this Monday’s Council meeting to help guide the discussion of the City’s response to the Province on its proposed expansions of cannabis, the City was unable to send out mailers or use traditional forms of communications. However, messages were posted on the screens at all City facilities to help spread the word regarding the survey (in addition to social media channels).

      To your point about seniors, we in the Mayor’s Office have actually found the opposite – many seniors are computer literate and consistently engage with the Mayor’s Office and Mayor Meed Ward by email and on her social media platforms.

      Thank you again for commenting on the Mayor’s website. -JB

    2. Cheryl, well said, I agree with you 100%. For such significant civic matters, the only legitimate avenue to solicit tax-paying homeowners (or renters) for feedback is sending an addressed letter to each home. The letter would obviously include instructions to go to a website for feedback entry and other methods.

      Private corporations’ “social media”, which requires one to register and agree to their Terms of Service (not the City’s), is not a proper form of communication in these matters.

  2. I 100% support the opening of cannabis lounge in the city, The use of cannabis is akin to the use of liquor. Smoke a joint or drink a beer. Both acceptable and legal ways to socialize with friends. Thanks to the city of Burlington for asking for feedback

    1. Kenneth, smoking is a gas and beer is a liquid; alcohol is in your system for hours, cannabis for days; the two are not the same and should not be dealt with equally. Consuming a combination of cannabis & alcohol is so potent & very intoxicating, I don’t think anyone (government) has really considered the consequences of that much at all.

  3. Do Not Do This! Do not agree with the pot matter, all it has done is drive up the cost of pot to twice what is charged on the black market… were is the logic in that?? Not everyone has a Twitter account so do a proper mail out survey to all tax payers, not like was done with the tree bylaw. Let’s effectively manage a multi-million dollar operation.

    1. Hi Cheryl, this is John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist. You do not need a Twitter account to complete the City’s online survey, just access to the Internet. The survey is just one way to give your feedback to Council to help inform the discussion at the meeting on Monday (Feb. 24) to determine how to respond to the Ontario Government’s online consultation for potential cannabis business opportunity additions. You can also email your Councillor (contact information for each is here and the Mayor at We also encourage you to click the link in the post to share your feedback with the Province and participate in its own separate consultation on this matter. Thank you for commenting on the Mayor’s website.

  4. This so-called survey is “really earth shaking” — 3 multiple choice questions that do nothing to address the potential problems which will arise by allowing such establishments; social community events to provide the almighty weed to one.

    1. Hi Charlie, this is John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist. The survey designed by the City is but one way you can share your feedback to help in Council’s discussion of how it will respond to the Province on this. You can also share your input with your ward councillor (contact info is available here: and with Mayor Meed Ward by emailing Thank you for commenting on the Mayor’s website.

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Media Specialist: John Bkila