Wawa Council Will Allow Private Pot Shops

Wawa Municipal Council will allow private cannabis retail stores in town - but they're casting doubt on the chances it'll happen.

As the provincial government's given municipalities until next Tuesday to "opt out" of allowing such stores when they start opening in April, Wawa Council's confirmed that they'll allow the stores, with Mayor Ron Rody suggesting a primary reason is possible funding support stemming from the move.

While the recent licence lottery saw only 2 of 25 licences across the province go to the North - restricted to municipalities with at least 50,000 people - Mayor Rody assures the municipality will have "all the proper policies in place" for authorizing private cannabis stores in town, should anyone receive a licence.

The resolution approved last night does direct staff to prepare a policy to assist with the authorization process for any applications received, and - while Rody says there's no exact timeline for the policy - he does say it will be a priority for Council, expecting it "for sure before spring".

Chapleau Council made the opposite decision on Monday, deciding to "opt out" of allowing the stores, though Mayor Michael Levesque has suggested the decision may be reversed at some point in the future, after Council's learned more about provincial rules for the stores and possibly updated local by-laws.