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Mayor wants better funding and less privatization when it comes to legal pot

Jim Watson plans to hold public consultation before new pot shops open in the capital
cannabis marijuana 2016
File photo. Cannabis marijuana

When it comes to legalized marijuana in Ottawa, mayor Jim Watson has some thoughts on how things could be changed. 

Speaking with 1310 NEWS Watson explained that he approves of the province letting municipalities decide whether or not to allow privately owned pot shops in their city. 

But, he doesn't agree with having private shops all together saying it will be difficult to deal with. 

"We've seen the mess of these Mom & Pop shops, the little holes in the wall, that are selling marijuana illegally now," he said. "I think the government was smart to say, look it if you want to be eligible to bid you gotta close your operation down, I don't think many are going to do that." 

Watson also remarked on the current funding arrangement with the other two levels of government, explaining that there is room for change. 

"The federal and provincial government reap almost all the benefits of taxation from cannabis," he said. "Yet we have all the work to do, fire inspections, public health, police, bylaw and so on." 

The mayor said that to date Ottawa has not received a full list of how much money each city will be getting to deal with the extra municipal duties. 

Watson said he also has plans to meet with council members and committee chairs to discuss public consultations. 


Jenn Pritchard

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