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York Region mayors reject proposed LCBO-run marijuana dispensaries

Vaughan mayor is also refusing to commit the city to a legal marijuana store next year.

Clockwise from top, left: East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.

METROLAND FILE PHOTOS

Clockwise from top, left: East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.

A number of York Region mayors have come out against proposed marijuana stores in their municipalities.

East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson has joined regional colleagues Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti in speaking out against the possibility of a marijuana dispensary coming to the municipality.

“My concern at this point is there is so little information about what it would look like. What are rules and regulations,” Hackson said. “I don’t think we should be one of the first ones out there.”

Last month, Ontario named 14 cities to have the first LCBO-run recreational marijuana stores. The province intends to open 40 standalone stores by July 2018, an additional 80 by July 2019 and 150 by 2020.

Vaughan is the first to be identified in York Region where city has created an interdepartmental cannabis working group.

Asked about the issue at a recent public meeting, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua refused to commit the city to a legal marijuana store by July 1.

“We respect the law, but we need the resources to make sure we can facilitate the implementation of the law,” said Bevilacqua.

“We need to really look at the impact this will have on our city. I think the feds and the province have to come up with a plan that will also address financial downloading that occurs when such a new law is implemented.”

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