April 30, 2018 7:36 pm

Regina releases cannabis zoning plan ahead of city committee meeting

The proposed zoning would ensure that cannabis retailers must be at least 600 feet away from “land uses frequented by youth under the age of 19.”

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The Queen City has laid the groundwork for zoning pot shops.

The proposed zoning would ensure that cannabis retailers must be at least 600 feet away from “land uses frequented by youth under the age of 19.”

Rather than go for distance, the city took an out of sight, out mind approach.

READ MORE: Effects of marijuana on teens may be ‘overstated’ — Here’s why you should still be careful

“We felt that the 600 feet would provide a good visual buffer between some of those land uses, and the retail locations,” Fred Searle, Regina’s Current Planning Manager said.

Just how far away is 600 feet? It’s roughly one city block, including the streets on either side, or if you’re Usain Bolt, about 17.5 seconds of sprinting.

The land uses that cannabis retailers will have to avoid include:

The only exception is the downtown core, where stores only need to be 600 feet away from other cannabis retailers.

“Downtown has the most complex arrangement of land uses in the city, so if we were to apply the 600 foot separation it would basically exclude downtown from consideration for a cannabis retail outlet,” Searle noted.

READ MORE: Marijuana plants seized in Harris, Sask. drug bust

Despite the distance requirement, the city recommends the stores be in both visible and accessible locations; something that’s earning mixed reactions.

“We have members who are very, very, upset about the legalization of marijuana; we have some members who are excited. They are happy there are going to be shops open, they look at it as a significant business opportunity, and then there’s a lot that are kind of “meh, I don’t really know, it’ll be fine,”” explained Regina & District Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins.

The proposal goes before the planning commission for approval may second, before it can proceed to city council on May 28.

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