Future pot store locations a concern
Proximity to schools raised by school boards association
The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association is asking school trustees across the province how close cannabis stores should be to elementary and secondary schools?
Near North trustee Michelina Beam said schools want to get ahead of the issue before the drug becomes legal next summer.
“There’s just so little information about how this is going to roll out,” she said during Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting at the board office on Airport Road.
“There’s fear out there. There’s a strong suggestion that school boards have policies in place before this becomes legal.”
Trustee Al Bottomley said he would like to see the province reconsider its plan, and if sales locations are added in the future to have Liquor Control Board of Ontario outlets in rural areas sell cannabis.
“Although the location isn’t perfect, it would curtail the sale to minors rather than a grocery store,” he said.
“If the decision is to sell it at a grocery store, where would they put it? In the herb section?”
Bottomley said he also supports sales through the LCBO because most rural areas have an outlet.
Near North District School Board trustees are not taking a stance on the issue but are waiting for a recommendation from the association.
The Cannabis Act 2017 will create a new provincial retailer that would be overseen by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The distribution would be through standalone stores and an online order service.
It’s expected 150 standalone stores will be opened in Ontario by 2020, including 40 stores by July 2018 and up to 80 by July 2019.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Finance and LCBO announced pot stores will open in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, Barrie, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, vaughan and Windsor.
The minimum wage to use, buy, possess and cultivate cannabis will be 19. Cannabis use will be banned in public places, workplaces and motor vehicles.