Pubdate: Wed, 15 Nov 2017
Source: Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Laura Booth
Page: B1


City and province meet to talk about locating new marijuana

KITCHENER - The province had its first meeting with Kitchener
municipal staff since announcing earlier this month that the city
would be home to one of the first government-run pot shops to open in
Ontario by July.

On Tuesday, Waterloo Regional police and city staff met with
representatives from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the
Ministry of Finance to discuss how a storefront location in the city
will be selected.

"They've retained a real estate broker that the LCBO normally uses,"
said Gloria MacNeil, director of enforcement at the City of Kitchener.

"(The province) will be engaging with them and letting them know, for
example, what Kitchener's criteria is and then that broker will start
looking for sites that they think fit the agreed upon criteria."

Earlier this month, the LCBO announced the first 14 municipalities to
get an LCBO-run, standalone, recreational, cannabis store in July -
when the federal government expects to legalize the substance.

LCBO and Ministry of Finance representatives are currently meeting
with municipal staff from each city to determine guidelines that will
be in place when choosing storefront locations. The province has
already said that stores will not be close to schools - a decision
that the City of Kitchener supports.

MacNeil said at Tuesday's meeting the city was able to address
concerns and suggestions for a possible storefront location, including
that it be close to a main roadway and be easily accessible to people
across the region.

"We felt that as part of their consideration that any retail store
should be located close to (the) expressway or highway, on some sort
of transit system where there is a bus route or Ion, and that there
would be sufficient parking," said MacNeil.

The LCBO also wants to hear from residents of the region on the matter
and will soon be asking for feedback online, she said.

Going forward, the LCBO broker will be contacting the city with
location suggestions to make sure they meet city zoning

MacNeil said, while there was no discussion about the potential
increase in enforcement costs to the city on Tuesday, the province did
provide some details about store operations.

"You'll have to show ID at the door," said MacNeil. "If you're not 19
you can't enter, even if you're accompanied by an adult."

There will also be product experts in all stores. But, whether
cannabis will be displayed behind a glass case or only detailed on
menu boards has yet to be decided.

Ontario said it will identify more locations for its first 40 stores
to be opened by July 2018, however, all consumers will be able to
purchase cannabis through an online retail website.

The 13 other municipalities that are also getting a storefront
location by July are: Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Kingston, London,
Mississauga, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury. Thunder Bay, Toronto,
Vaughan, and Windsor.

The province plans to have 80 standalone stores opened by July 2019
and 150 by 2020.

The legal age to purchase, use, possess, and cultivate cannabis in
Ontario will be 19 years of age.
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