Why Are There No Dispensaries In Mississauga

why are there no dispensaries in mississauga


Mississauga, the sixth largest city in Canada, is known for its dynamic urban environment and diverse culture. Many people however, are curious about one unique factor, "Why are there no cannabis dispensaries in Mississauga?" Given that Ontario has legalized recreational cannabis, it seems like an anomaly. To unravel this puzzling question, we need to delve into the political, social, and legislative factors prevailing in Mississauga.

City Ruling on Cannabis Stores

In anticipation of cannabis legalization, municipalities across Ontario were given the decision to enact their own bylaws regarding local cannabis sales. In 2018, Mississauga city council had a crucial vote at hand. Citing concerns about safety and community standards, the city council unanimously voted against allowing dispensaries in Mississauga. They justified this move, claiming the province did not grant sufficient authority to regulate outlets, nor sufficient funding to manage cannabis use at the local level.

Incipient Regulation Framework

The Ontario provincial government allows home deliveries of legal cannabis products, which somewhat compensates for the lack of physical dispensaries in cities like Mississauga. The council decided that these regulations made it more realistic for residents to access products, while still maintaining city control over public narcotics usage. However, this has invariably pushed Mississauga residents to either online purchases or nearby cities that do allow dispensaries, like Toronto.

Public Reaction and Lobby from Anti-Cannabis Groups

One cannot disregard the influence of public opinion and lobby groups in this decision. Despite Canada having a liberal outlook towards recreational marijuana, specific demographics maintain a prohibitionistic mindset. These include parents, school associations, and some religious groups who have shown apprehension over the opening of local dispensaries. They argue that it promotes cannabis usage among young population, leading to potential for abuse and mental health problems.

Impact on the Local Black Market

The Mississauga city council's ruling does raise concerns about supporting the unwanted black market. By refusing legal, regulated access to cannabis, users might turn to illegal sources which are usually unregulated and hazardous. On the flipside, law enforcement agencies have continuously worked towards curbing the black market, making it difficulty for black market cannabis to flourish.

Looking into the Future

The City Council maintains jurisdiction to reconsider allowing cannabis stores in the future. As the legal cannabis market evolves in Ontario, there may be changes to the province's cannabis regulations that provide the City with the ability to shield certain areas from housing cannabis stores. Having seen the performance of those policies and regulations in neighbouring municipalities like Oakville and Burlington that allow cannabis stores may also push Mississauga to reconsider its stance.


In conclusion, the absence of cannabis dispensaries in Mississauga is a result of a confluence of multiple factors— political considerations, public opinion, lack of regulatory controls, and a cautious approach towards a nascent legal market. Primarily, it signals a wrestling match between different value systems—public safety versus personal freedom, and conventional norms versus changing societal attitudes. Only time will determine whether Mississauga will maintain this stance or adapt to the evolving cannabis landscape.