Windsor

Tecumseh council votes to reverse ban on cannabis retail

The Town of Tecumseh has become the final municipality in Windsor-Essex to opt in to cannabis retail stores.

Town is the last in Windsor-Essex to give marijuana retailers the green light

The storefront of a cannabis store in Vancouver is seen in a file photo. Tecumseh has become the latest — and final — municipality in Windsor-Essex to green light cannabis retail. (David Horemans/CBC)

The Town of Tecumseh has become the final municipality in Windsor-Essex to opt in to cannabis retail stores.

In a notice posted on its website, the town said council adopted a motion allowing cannabis businesses to set up shop Tuesday night.

In April, council members voted to reconsider the ban on marijuana stores that had been in place since 2018.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara said that prior to Tuesday's vote there was an evenly split response to the town's call for feedback on the idea.

Council ultimately voted 6-1 in favour of ending the ban, despite a letter from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit recommending against allowing cannabis retail, McNamara said.

"The biggest rationale for council was the fact of trying to shut down, or take away from, the illegal operations," he said.

He added that the town had waited to see how cannabis retail worked out in other areas but there haven't been major issues elsewhere.

The town is one of several local municipalities that have reversed course on cannabis retail, including most recently LaSalle in March.

Since then, three stores have applied to open in LaSalle, according to data from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which regulates the industry.

McNamara said he believes there will be interest from retailers looking to set up shop now that the town has opted in.

"No doubt there have been people anticipating the result of the meeting last night," he said.

Though the first cannabis retail store in Windsor didn't open until 2020, locations are now popping up all over the city and Essex County.

Throughout the region, 29 stores have been authorized to open, and others are seeking approval to do so.

With files from Peter Duck

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