Faraday council has chosen to opt-in on retail cannabis.

It was unanimously passed by council this morning. That means the Township will get an additional $5,000 on top of the $5,000 they already have gotten from the Province based on projected cannabis-related revenue. They join Bancroft as the only two municipalities in North Hastings to opt-in to retail cannabis thus far. Hastings Highlands will be holding a public meeting on Thursday to get residents’ opinion on opting-in or out on retail cannabis. The deadline for municipalities in Ontario to make a decision on opting-out needs to be made by January 22nd.

Two amendments council did make to the rules and regulations for allowing retail cannabis was that retail cannabis stores, as well as anyone smoking cannabis, must be 150 metres away from any community buildings, such as the Faraday Community Centre or a Church. They also added that retail cannabis stores will only be allowed in commercial zones.

Faraday council also approved council remuneration after the loss of the one-third tax exemption. That exemption ensures that one-third of what council members make is tax-free. Bancroft council also approved this in late December 2018. The pay raise offsets the loss of the tax exemption.

Also during council, they approved renewing their membership with AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) for another year. The cost to Faraday is reported as being $1,100. Deputy Reeve Marg Nicholson said, “it’s well worth it.” She went on to say that what they offer is a great resource to the Township.