Haliburton County’s decision on allowing pot sales would have a ripple effect through the municipalities.

According to the information provided to Haliburton County Council, If the county as a whole decides to opt-out by the January deadline, the four municipalities of Haliburton County would by default have to opt-out as well. As of now, Highlands East has already decided they are going to allow the sale of Cannabis in retail locations.

Charlsey White explained if the county opts in they will see funding from the Government of Ontario valued at $60,000 to implement the retail stores in the county. White also suggests if they opt-in they can actively participate in the selection process of where the shops go. Although the county cannot tell the store owners where to locate, it can inform them of sensitive services in the area like the youth hub, daycares, medical centres etc.

White details the idea that if legal and regulated cannabis shops open in the county that will reduce the amount of illegal marijuana being sold. White also notes that if the county or the four municipalities decide to opt-out, the Ontario Cannabis Store still delivers to most postal addresses in the county, which she believes will not reduce the amount of pot in the area.

According to White, Canadians consumed over $7 billion in Cannabis products in 2017, which she notes is a profit margin the county can tap into. As well, the sale of cannabis in Haliburton County means that the local economy will feel the impact of more businesses opening in the area.

White suggests that the council agree to opt-in and begin working with the four municipalities to create Cannabis Policies so once cannabis is allowed to be sold in stores, the groundwork is already laid to regulate and monitor it.

Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt suggests that more people would be bothered by the social aspect of retail pot stores than the actual sale in the towns.