Pubdate: Sat, 09 Sep 2017
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Jon Willing
Page: 7


Mayor Jim Watson on Friday was waiting to learn what the city's role
will be in locating government-run weed shops but he already knows
they shouldn't be in "inappropriate" areas.

"My overriding concerns is to ensure that they're located in the
proper locations," Watson said Friday after the province announced its
plan to have standalone weed stores run by the LCBO.

"The last thing we want to see is a marijuana shop open next to a high
school, for instance."

Watson had not been briefed yet about the province's plan, since he
was attending the annual firefighters memorial outside Ottawa City
Hall over the noon hour.

However, he liked what he had heard so far about the LCBO running the
weed stores.

"I think with the LCBO they have a very good reputation in terms of
making sure underage customers are not buying a product from liquor
stores, so I hope they take the same philosophy with pot shops,"
Watson said.

"I don't know if it's a zoning issue or whether the province will
enact a similar policy that they have with LCBO stores. For instance,
you don't have an LCBO store next to a school or a day care or
something like that. At this point I don't know."

Watson is especially eager for rogue pot shops to disappear. There are
about 19 of the illegal marijuana dispensaries across Ottawa, with
another recently opening in the Hintonburg area.

Many of those pot shops set up after the federal Liberals were elected
on a promise to legalize marijuana - which is now on track to happen
by next July - but the province's plan to have LCBO weed shops as the
sole sales outlet makes it clear that private shops will be outlawed.

"That's the other benefit of bringing some semblance of order to the
debate," Watson said.

"You've got these pot shops popping up everywhere and they're getting
robbed and they're becoming magnets for a lot of unwanted activity and
sometimes illegal activity. My hope is that when the structure is in
place, we actually start enforcing the law and shutting some of these
places down because they're clearly not authorized at any level of
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