Thunder Bay

5 out of 33 municipalities in the northwest opt out of cannabis retail stores

According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), five out of 33 municipalities in the northwest have chosen to opt out of having a retail cannabis store in their community.

Municipalities had until January 22 to inform the province's Alcohol and Gaming Commission

5 out of 33 municipalities in northwestern Ontario, as listed by the province, have decided to opt out of having a cannabis retail store in their community. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), five out of 33 municipalities in the northwest have chosen to opt out of having a retail cannabis store in their community.

Municipalities across the province had a one time option to opt out of allowing cannabis retail stores and were given a deadline of January 22 to inform the AGCO.

Those who said no to having a brick and mortar cannabis store are the Townships of Conmee, Dorion, Emo, Lake of the Woods and Pickle Lake.

Communities that have chosen to opt out can change their minds at any time in the future, however, once they have decided to opt in, they may no longer opt out.

The province has also restricted communities with less than 50,000 people from housing cannabis stores, which means only Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury and North Bay meet the current criteria.

The locations of the first two shops in northern Ontario have not yet been released.