Buf­fer zones be­tween schools, cannabis stores be­ing pro­posed

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current -

“Our con­cern is about the po­ten­tial of a cannabis re­tail store be­ing per­mit­ted to op­er­ate in close vicin­ity to The Cen­ter, which would di­rectly counter the abil­ity of The Cen­ter to achieve its above-stated goals,” he said. “Fur­ther, pass­ing a by­law that would al­low the jux­ta­po­si­tion of a cannabis re­tail store next to a com­mu­nity youth sup­port cen­tre would give the ap­pear­ance of a lack of sup­port by the City to such a cen­tre, re­gard­less of the lack of truth to same.”

The two or­ga­ni­za­tions in­cluded sup­port­ing ma­te­rial with their sub­mis­sion to the pub­lic hear­ing. Sny­der high­lighted some op­tions that have been con­sid­ered by other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in al­low­ing the op­er­a­tion of cannabis re­tail stores.

“We pro­pose that any ar­eas zoned to al­low the op­er­a­tion of cannabis re­tail stores to op­er­ate should in­clude re­stric­tions to pro­vide a buf­fer zone be­tween such stores and the places that our chil­dren and our youth gather,” he said.

He re­ferred to a num­ber of al­ter­na­tives to achieve this goal. One would be to in­clude min­i­mum sep­a­ra­tion dis­tances be­tween a cannabis store and any school, pub­lic li­brary, youth or child-care fa­cil­ity, park or re­cre­ation cen­tre.

“In our re­search we found that other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties typ­i­cally im­posed re­stric­tions on cannabis stores from op­er­a­tion within 100 to 300 me­tres from such fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

An­other op­tion would be to pro­hibit any cannabis re­tail store from op­er­at­ing on the same block as a youth or child- care fa­cil­ity or on blocks di­rectly ad­ja­cent to such fa­cil­i­ties.

Al­ter­na­tively the zon­ing re­gion can be amended to ex­clude the 0 to 100 block of 1st Av­enue NE, where The Cen­tre is lo­cated, as a lo­ca­tion for op­er­at­ing a cannabis re­tail store.

“Al­though this is not cen­tral to our in­ter­est, it may be pru­dent con­sid­er­a­tion for the City to im­pose re­stric­tions on the dis­tance re­quired be­tween cannabis re­tail stores and liquor re­tail stores so as to mit­i­gate the po­ten­tial neg­a­tive ef­fects of hav­ing these types of re­tail out­lets op­er­at­ing in close vicin­ity,” he said.

The sub­mis­sion by the two or­ga­ni­za­tions noted that the SLGA guide for Saskatchew­an's cannabis re­tail frame­work gives mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties the right to place re­stric­tions on the lo­ca­tion of cannabis re­tail shops.

“We strongly en­cour­age the City to en­act such mea­sures and poli­cies to re­flect the value our com­mu­nity places on the pro­tec­tion of our youth, and to al­low and con­tinue to aid The Cen­ter in achiev­ing our shared goals of fos­ter­ing and de­vel­op­ing the suc­cess of our youth,” Sny­der said.

The sub­mis­sion at the pub­lic hear­ing will be con­sid­ered by coun­cil­lors when they re­view the pro­posed amend­ments of the zon­ing by­laws. The sec­ond and third ( fi­nal) read­ing of the by­law amend­ments is sched­uled to take place at the Sept. 10 coun­cil meet­ing.

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