LaSalle town council clears the way for cannabis retail stores

LaSalle has become the latest municipality in Essex County to opt into the provincial cannabis retail store program.

Town council passed the motion unanimously last night.

It first heard from Rob Katzman, who along with his son Sam, own several stores, including ones in Windsor.

Katzman told council there was nothing to fear from the stores and that they are highly regulated.

"Cannabis now is not this Cheech and Chong weed-smoking vision that many people have. These businesses are highly regulated, highly organized. We as retailers must be good business people," said Katzman.

But it didn't take much convincing. Coun. Jeff Renaud was on board enthusiastically.

"You can't look at it any different than beer, it's legal. There needs to be an opportunity so that your people can get what they want in their own community. And if they choose not to, then they don't need to go to that store," said Renaud.

Mayor Marc Bondy is looking forward to the new policy creating jobs.

"Mr. Katzman said that the average employs 30 per store. I'm saying let's go. Get 'er built," said Bondy.

Larry Silani, the director of development and strategic initiatives who submitted a report to council told Coun. Mark Carrick LaSalle could like see one or two stores open up in the town in the near, based on the numbers in similar sized towns in Essex County.

Proponents must first apply to the AGCO for approval.

LaSalle originally opted out of having cannabis retail stores two years ago to take the cautious approach with the intention of revisiting the issue later.

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