Pubdate: Thu, 22 Feb 2018
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Copyright: 2018 Metro Canada
Author: Helen Pike
Page: 6


A number of on-the-fly changes were proposed

Calgary city councillors have proposed a number of relaxations on
proposed cannabis retailer rules.

On Wednesday, during a council committee, administration presented
their land use bylaw rules to ready the city's policies ahead of
marijuana legalization. But just like rolling your first joint, the
process wasn't easy. The rules will now be smoothed over and sent to
an April council meeting before being passed into official law.

If council approves the changes made at the committee level, cannabis
stores won't be restricted by distance when it comes to opening up
shop near post-secondary institutions.

Instead of a 30 metre distance between liquor stores and weed shops,
the language now just specifies they can't be adjacent to each other.
Councillors also voted in favour of eliminating payday loans and pawn
shop distance restrictions from the list.

"If you're an adult going to a pawn shop, going to a payday loan, we
shouldn't restrict that," said Coun. Sean Chu, who brought up the issue.

Coun. Druh Farrell voted in favour of taking out the buffer between
bud and higher education, but she wasn't keen on the other tweaks.

"Pawn shops, payday loans, liquor stores all concentrated in one area
can give a negative message about a particular type of community,"
said Farrell. "That's why those distances were important."

This leaves the rules that protect kids from being exposed to

Some officials, including Dr. David Strong, a lead medical health
officer with Alberta Health Services Calgary Zone, were calling for
more restrictions to the city's proposed rules.

"The important thing to state is cannabis has been an illegal drug,
and because of that there haven't been a lot of studies on the
long-term effects of cannabis," Strong said. "That's something we need
to acknowledge."

He said AHS wants to double the city's proposed distances between
cannabis store and schools to 300 metres instead of 150 as proposed by
the city.

Danielle Halter, with the retail store Smokers' Corner, said with such
restrictions in place, people who don't live close to a dispensary
will find other ways of getting their ganja.

"Our users are more Caucasian males, in the 25 to 35 year-old range,
they're single, why not put your stores with your demographics,"
Halter said. "Living downtown, if I can't walk to get something, I
find another way to get it ... why don't I just call my local drug
dealer to bring it to my door."
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MAP posted-by: Matt