After doing further research, I couldn’t believe what the reason is
Mississauga, ON, is a big city of approximately 800,000 people, a population comparable to the entire province of New Brunswick. So, why does Mississauga have no cannabis stores?
Why does Mississauga opt-out of having cannabis stores?
Mississauga opts out of having cannabis stores because they don’t want to see an overload of cannabis stores, which is happening in Toronto, the largest city in Ontario. Another problem they faced was where to locate them. Ward 9-Councillor Pat Saito doesn’t want to see stores opening where there are parks, daycares and schools.
Although the city of Mississauga allows bars, beer stores and liquor stores around places near child-centred environments; Cannabis does not have the same privileges. The excuse is not wanting too many stores near where children will be. So what is the difference between the two?
The Ontario government has laws in place to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth. You can walk into the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) or beer store with your child, but for Cannabis stores, no one under the age of 19 can enter. Ontario also has a youth diversion program. The program teaches kids between 12-18 about how cannabis affects them and the legal offence of having cannabis in their possession.
Usually, the black market doesn’t ask for identification.
Cannabis buyers are going to buy their weed where it’s more convenient. If buying it off the street is easier for them, then that is what they are doing.
Ward 2 Councillor Karen Ras, a board of legal cannabis shops since legalization in 2018, is concerned about encouraging black market sales in Mississauga. Ras believes having cannabis stores would help decrease these numbers. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie agrees with Ras. She believes cannabis stores are safer, cleaner, more regulated, and residents want it and are using it.
Mississauga residents want convenient access to cannabis shops.
Consumers who live in Mississauga would like a convenient way to purchase cannabis instead of travelling outside the city.
It seems more like the Mississauga Councillor who elected to keep cannabis stores out of Mississauga is looking for excuses not to have stores in their city. Despite being legal, many people in power still actively work against proper cannabis legislation. We need to make sure all levels of government educate themselves on the way cannabis helps others, and in turn, helps their province by keeping it off the streets and away from the youth.