Preparing for cannabis legalization

By Jessica Dempsey

March 21, 2018 3:27 PM

File Photo

The federal government’s legalization of recreational cannabis may have been pushed back a month or two, but the city is trying to get as prepared as they can.
At Monday’s Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, council was provided with information from the planning and development perspective surrounding the legalization.
Being a bi-provincial city has definitely made things more complicated as the city has been having to wait for Saskatchewan to release their guidelines. On March 14, Saskatchewan released their cannabis framework.
The city is looking at having a 100-metre buffer of cannabis retails stores from parks and schools, provincial health care facilities, community centres and liquor stores, set out in the Alberta framework.
“I think that’s what we deemed a reasonable distance, one of the challenges you have is how far do you rescind it? Because if you rescind it so far we will be limited to locations of maybe three or four blocks total in the entire city,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
During the presentation it was shown that the retail spots, if at 100 metres would be on Highway 16 or Highway 17, in strictly commercial and some industrial zones. 
Saskatchewan has yet to release their separation parameters.
Coun. Michael Diachuk said the discussion around cannabis was encouraging because it’s so new to everyone.
“What we are trying to do is get it right the first time. The reality is we won’t and that’s simply the reality. So, our job is to make sure we ask as many questions as we can, push every part of it as hard as we can to see if there are places it is potentially soft,” he said.
The city will be hosting a Your Voice Night on April 19 at the Lloyd Mall in the former Sears space where residents can converse about the upcoming cannabis legislation, Dangerous Goods Route Bylaw, School Zoning Hours Bylaw and Bicycle Safety Bylaw.
“I think people are going to have a lot of questions around cannabis that we will hopefully be able to answer,” said Aalbers.

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