Councillors in Kitchener and Waterloo voted yes to opting in to brick-and-mortar pot shops on Monday.

The move will allow licensed retail cannabis stores to operate in the city limits.

Before the vote, Police Chief Bryan Larkin told councillors that local police support opting in for safety reasons.

“By opting in and having a regulated sales approach, we know that there are stringent guidelines set, not only provincially and federally around packaging, around control, around sale,” Larkin told council in part.

Last week, 25 licenses were distributed by lottery for the rights to open a shop in April.

Mayors of both cities agreed that opting in was best in order to help suppress the black market and stop the sale of illegal cannabis.