Priority Projects

Retail Cannabis stores in Hamilton

The City of Hamilton is seeking community input on whether to permit licensed private recreational cannabis retail stores in Hamilton.

The survey is now closed

On October 17, 2018, cannabis was legalized by the federal government of Canada.

Currently, in Ontario, the only place to legally purchase cannabis is online from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). The provincial government is also moving forward with a regulated private, bricks and mortar, retail model for cannabis that will launch by April 1, 2019.

These stores will be licenced through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), not by the municipality.

The provincial government gave Ontario municipalities a one-time opportunity to opt out of having provincially licensed retail cannabis stores in their communities. The deadline for City Council to make this decision is January 22, 2019. The City could opt in at a later date, but then would not be eligible for a portion of the funds being offered by the provincial government.


  • December 18, 2018: On December 18, the General Issues Committee considered a report on whether to opt in or opt out of introducing licensed retail cannabis stores in Hamilton. This decision was deferred to January 14 Council Meeting.
  • December 21, 2018: Community survey on licensed retail cannabis opens
  • January 9, 2019: Community survey on licensed retail cannabis closes
  • January 14, 2019: Hamilton City Council to make a decision on opting in or out of having licensed retail cannabis stores in Hamilton.   
  • January 22, 2019: Deadline to provide formal submission to the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario on City of Hamilton decision to allow or prohibit licensed cannabis retail stores in the community.

Reports & Documents