Province announces new pot retail store guidelines
Retail pot shops could soon be coming to a neighbourhood near you in Ottawa.
Under the new rules, set out by the provincial government, retail pot shops will need to be at least 150 metres from schools. The Wynne government had previously recommended the minimum distance between retail shops and schools be 450 metres.
Ottawa don't seem to mind with the new regulations announced by the government.
“They have cigarettes 150 metres away so why not pot.” says Ottawa resident Steven Nasrallah.
Santiago Campuzano, originally from Colombia, says “I think it is fine, it's legalized. I don’t have any issues.”
While others are concerned the distance of 150 metres isn’t enough to protect kids and believe the current government’s decision is ill-advised. “I don’t think that sounds well-researched at all. That sounds a bit close.” says Carissa Klopoushak.
Ottawa’s mayor Jim Watson says municipalities don’t have a say in where retail pot shops could be placed. “We need to convince to provincial government to give us some authority so we don’t have 4 or 5 pot shops on streets, for instance, like Montreal road or Rideau street. And secondly they have to be a farther distance from high schools. That's just common sense.”
Enforced by the alcohol and gaming commission cannabis retail shops will open, any day, from 9am to 11pm; coinciding with newly expanded LCBO hours.
The government’s announcement comes two weeks after two illegal pot shops were raided and closed by police downtown and in Westboro.
“They knew the rules about the regulations and they're not allowed to open until April...I think they were trying to see if it would be enforced and they got caught.” saysSarah McIlwham.
Under the government’s guidelines, any retail shop open illegally after October 17 will be banned from obtaining a licence.