Wellington North survey: 60% support cannabis retail stores

KENILWORTH – Over 60 per cent of respondents  to a Wellington North survey are in favour of allowing cannabis stores in the township.

A total of 623 people completed the survey, which was uploaded to the municipality’s website on Dec. 5 and closed on Dec. 16 at midnight.

Of the total, 379 or 60.8% said yes to allowing pot stores, while 216 (34.7%) said no and 4.5% were undecided.

During the Dec. 17 council meeting clerk Karren Wallace explained there is no way for council or staff to determine where respondents to the survey, operated by SurveyMonkey, live or whether they are residents of Wellington North.

“I mean, you could ask that question; it doesn’t mean they were going to answer it correctly, so we just opened it up,” Wallace said.

Economic development officer Dale Small also sent a version of the survey to members of the Downtown Revitalization Committee.

Fourteen of the members responded to the survey, with a total of nine (64.3%) supporting retail cannabis sales, four (28.6%) saying no and a single individual saying he/she is undecided.

Councillors stated they would decide whether to opt-in or opt-out during the first regular council meeting of the new year on Jan. 14.

While over 60% of respondents are in favour of retail cannabis stores, Mayor Andy Lennox has warned that ultimately the decision is up to council.

In neighbouring Centre Wellington, 64% of 1,600 survey respondents were in favour of local pot stores, but council voted 4-3 on Dec. 18 to reject retail cannabis sales in the municipality.