'We never said never:' Tecumseh council to reconsider cannabis retail

·2 min read
There are 24 cannabis retailers approved in Windsor-Essex. (John Robertson/CBC - image credit)
There are 24 cannabis retailers approved in Windsor-Essex. (John Robertson/CBC - image credit)

Councillors with the Town of Tecumseh have decided to reconsider allowing cannabis retailers within the municipality.

The town's council voted in favour of reconsidering its previous decision to opt out of allowing cannabis retail. The municipality's administration is now expected to bring a report to council by June that will include community feedback.

"We never said never," said Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara.

McNamara said the retail cannabis industry was fairly new back when his council decided to opt out on Dec. 11, 2018. At the time, he said he didn't know the impact the industry would have.

He said he was concerned with loitering, whether increased policing would be needed and whether it would "create havoc" in the community.

But based on the rollout across the province, he said none of these issues seem to have come to the forefront.

The town is the only municipality in Windsor-Essex that has yet to approve cannabis retailers.

On Tuesday evening, Tecumseh councillors heard from three delegates — Sam Katzman, Robert Katzman and Melissa Boow — about the need for cannabis retailers in the area.

The Katzmans own and operate Greentown Cannabis and The We Store Cannabis in Windsor.

The father-son duo said the stores would bring jobs to the area and noted that they have two locations in mind for Tecumseh retail spots.

"It's a fantastic opportunity from all different sides," said Robert.

Meanwhile, Boow, who owns House of Hemp Inc. in Tecumseh, said her shop is looking to include cannabis products.

While she said she can appreciate the "level of concern and uncertainty surrounding the emerging cannabis industry," she noted that if distribution and regulation remain responsible, the industry can benefit the community.

As of Wednedsay, there are 24 retail stores in Windsor-Essex approved and another 27 seeking approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which regulates the industry.

Most recently, LaSalle opted in to the budding industry in March.