Pubdate: Wed, 21 Feb 2018
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Copyright: 2018 Metro Canada
Author: Helen Pike
Page: 6


Retailers watch on as city drafts regs on where shops can open

The cans and can'ts for Calgary cannabis retailers are taking shape
this month, but some prospective shops are pointing out that
perception could still be tainting the city's proposed bylaws.

On Wednesday, councillors will see administration's land use
amendments to add cannabis retail store rules to the city's bylaws.
These tweaks will go before the council in an April public hearing.

Out of three options, the city's going with one that would treat
cannabis retailers a little like liquor stores - but not entirely the
same as booze businesses.

"It will make it more difficult and complex," said Ryan Kaye VP of
Operations with the 420 Clinic.

These rules include keeping marijuana retailers 300 metres apart from
each other, 30 metres away from liquor stores, 150 metres from
emergency shelters, post-secondaries and other schools, as well as 10
metres away from payday loan stores, pawn shops and child care services.

Coun. Jyoti Gondek worries the city's approach is piecemeal, because
of the impending introduction of edibles and lounges some time in the
future - and a federal deadline to have legislation ready for when
weed is legal.

"It's not allowing us to give proper contextualized thought to how
things could look," said Gondek.

The city's rules currently don't stop pawn shops from being close to
liquor stores - though some community groups discourage clustering the
storefronts. Pawn shops in Calgary can't be within 200 metres of an
existing pawn shop, and liquor stores have to be separated by 300 metres.

"There's no issues and concerns over payday loans and pawn shops, our
society seems comfortable with the idea that people are not going to
sell everything they own to go buy liquor," said Kaye. "We don't
believe that there should be that concern with cannabis."

He said restricting marijuana retailers above and beyond what is
already in place for liquor stores doesn't make sense. One of the
examples he points to is the inclusion of post-secondary institutions
in the separation distance portion of the bylaw. "They're adults," he
said. Gondek said the city needs to decide if these stores will be
treated like liquor stores, or not - and she's concerned about the
city's rationale for treating cannabis differently.

The city's document suggests the separation is in place because they
want to limit immediate access and visibility from places where young
people are learning.

"That's going to be interesting, I don't know how that's close to
being defensible," said Gondek.
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