Article by Allan Woods, The Toronto Star
In the rush to marijuana legalization, cities across the country are harnessing their limited powers to delay the opening of retail pot stores, dictate where they can operate or ban them outright—at least temporarily.
There was uproar from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Toronto District School Board after finding out the city’s first retail cannabis store would open just 450 metres from a school, in a strip mall where students often eat lunch.
But it’s the scenario many local politicians are fighting to prevent.
Some have passed motions and zoning changes suggesting appropriate locations for provincially run Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC) stores. Others, such as Markham, have asked that their territories be passed over as the agency sets up its inaugural pot shops.
Oakville city council passed a motion asking the Ontario government not to open a cannabis store this summer, as planned, so that they can figure out the most appropriate location for a store. This, after it was learned officials were scouting a spot less than one kilometre from a high school which was already a problem area, known for loitering and late-night drinking, said Councillor Tom Adams.
“We haven’t heard back,” he said of the requested delay.