Hastings Highlands to hold public meeting on retail cannabis

Hastings Highlands Council has invited members of the public to a meeting on January 10 at 7 p.m. at Emond Hall, 33011 Highway 62 in Maynooth. The purpose of the meeting is to obtain feedback and discuss the impacts that legalized cannabis may have on the community and whether to opt in or opt out of cannabis retail in the municipality.

The deadline for municipalities to notify the Province of a decision to opt out is January 22. (Municipalities that do not respond are deemed to have opted in.) The Township of Madawaska Valley is likely to arrive at its decision at the Council meeting to be held on January 8 although Council may defer the decision to a special meeting closer to the cut-off date.

Individuals interested in seeking a pot shop licence have a short window between January 7 and 9 during which to lodge an online “Expression of Interest.” Twenty-five applicants will then be selected by the Province through a lottery to be held on January 11. There is a $75 fee to submit an Expression of Interest and those selected through the lottery will have five business days to submit their application along with a $6,000 non-refundable fee and a $50,000 letter of credit. The initial tranche of 25 licences will, however, be limited to municipalities with populations of at least 50,000.

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