How Did One of Ontario’s First Legal Pot Stores End up Next to a Toronto Public School?

Article by Kirstin Rushowy & Robert Benzie, The Star.

How did one of Ontario’s first legal pot stores end up next to a Toronto public school?

Premier Kathleen Wynne is demanding answers on why one of the Ontario government’s first cannabis stores will be located 450 metres from a school in a Gerrard St. plaza.

The Toronto District School Board also has concerns — saying it had asked to be consulted, but was not.

“I would love to know if schools were even considered as part of the equation. I hope they were,” said board Chair Robin Pilkey. “… This is new, and it is an opportunity to do things the right way from the beginning — because once (the stores) are established, it’s hard to go back.

“It all seems not very well thought out.”

Wynne, speaking to reporters Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital, said she was going to ask staff to find out “exactly how the decision was made.”

“My priority in the implementation of the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis has been safety. It’s been safety and security particularly for young people,” the premier said. “I just want to know that the school board had input into it. I know there are a lot of factors and in Toronto there are 800 schools so there are schools in many, many, many neighbourhoods.”

Of the province’s other three initial sites — in Guelph, Kingston and Thunder Bay — only the Lakehead school board in the north had any say.

“It was made very clear throughout the process that we did not support a location that was near a school or where young people frequent,” said spokesperson Bruce Nugent, noting the board is satisfied given the closest elementary is three kilometres away and secondary school more than five.

Read the full article here.

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