It’s not a question of if Muskoka will get a marijuana store, but when.

Ontario has announced the first 14 communities that will be getting an LCBO-run marijuana store by next July. While Muskoka wasn’t on the list, Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith says we’re in a good location to be considered still.

Provincial officials have a plan to open 40 stores when the feds make marijuana sales legal nationwide next year.

Looking ahead, Smith says the prospect of opening a store in Muskoka comes with a lot of economic benefits.

He says he’s definitely aware of the concerns from local residents about having a store in a community Bracebridge as well.

Smith says one issue for him is the questions that haven’t been answered. He says there’s still not a clear picture about who is responsible for policing marijuana use in the community and what that enforcement looks like.

Just next door to Muskoka, Haliburton County Warden Brent Devolin is echoing the same concerns about how enforcement will affect municipalities.

Devolin says whether the responsibility comes down to the municipality or the OPP, the cost of added enforcement may still fall on the shoulders of the taxpayers. Currently, the provincial law for marijuana use only allows recreational smoking in your home.

Smith says if Muskoka doesn’t see a store open next July that doesn’t mean the door is closed for the district. With officials planning on opening 150 stores across the province by 2020, Smith believes we’ll eventually have one in our own backyard.

You can keep track of the next round of location announcements here.

Previous stories:

Muskoka not picked for first 14 marijuana store locations

Municipal politicians say details surrounding marijuana legalization extremely limited