Regina schools tell city they don’t want pot stores opening too close to kids

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While the city administration says pot stores are good for the economy, schools don’t want to open near them.

At its meeting on Wednesday, the Regina Planning Commission will discuss an administrative report that recommends maintaining a required distance of 182.88 meters between pot stores and schools.

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Previously, the committee suggested Modification Regina’s zoning regulations allow for pot stores to operate near “sensitive areas”. This includes places like parks, child care centers and schools.

The change would have set the required distance at 60 metres, instead of 182.88.

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The planning committee submitted a discussion of a city administration report on the proposed change at its October 6 meeting, because Regina Public Schools had not been given sufficient notice to provide their input.

The city report says that due to an administrative error, the division lost ground during consultations over the proposed amendments in the summer, and only received notice of the proposal two days before the planning committee meeting in October.

In a letter to the city, which was included in the administration’s report, Regina Public Schools said it wanted a revised report that would examine the health and social impacts of the bylaw amendment.

If this is not possible, the department has asked the city to maintain the 182.88-meter buffer zone between schools and pot shops.

The Regina Catholic School division has also written in support of keeping the required distance unchanged.

“Sixty meters are very close to schools and playgrounds,” Vicki Bonnell, president of Regina Catholic Schools, said in an interview with CBC on Tuesday.

She said the current distance is reasonable for safety reasons. She also said that if pot shops were allowed near schools, they might be frequented by high school students.

The city administration, which previously recommended a change to 60 metres, agrees with the school’s departments.

“The administration believes that the requests from the two school divisions are reasonable,” says the report to the Planning Committee. “If these comments were received during stakeholder consultations, management would have included them in the proposed amendments [to the zoning bylaw]. “

The report to be presented to the committee on Wednesday now recommends maintaining a distance of 182.88 metres.

The retailer of the container wants to maintain the specified required distance

Landin Ohhersky, co-owner of Wiid Boutique, a cannabis retailer from Regina, plans to speak at a meeting on Wednesday in support of maintaining the 182.88-metre distance.

He says changing it now would be unfair to cannabis retailers already in the market.

“If they change those distances, that creates two separate sets of rules,” he said in an interview with CBC on Tuesday, leaving those who have already opened their stores at a disadvantage.

He says he wasn’t able to open a location he wanted because it was too close to a library.

Ohersky said that if the distance was changed to 60 metres, someone who had just entered the market might be able to choose a more desirable location with higher traffic.

There are currently 16 cannabis stores operating in the city.

The planning committee is scheduled to meet at 4 pm on Wednesday.

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