In a report heading to a city council public hearing Monday, the city is proposing a “new notwithstanding clause” on the current separation distances to exempt sites zoned as DC2, site specific development control division, or CSC, shopping centre zone greater than two hectares. Without this clause it could have stopped companies like Aurora (ACB) from opening up in shopping centres like West Edmonton Mall.
Current separation distances require a 200-metre distance between cannabis retail stores and libraries and schools as well as a 100-metre separation from parks, public recreation facilities and provincial health-care sites.
Previously, provincial zoning principles prevented stores from being within 200 metres of schools and libraries, and over 100 metres of parks, public recreation facilities, and provincial health websites such as hospitals.
The problem was, that the zoning rules considered a shop to be the whole building — not only the retail space in which the shop would operate out of.
Aurora Cannabis is about to open a store inside West Edmonton Mall.
While the store itself would be almost a kilometre away in the Misericordia Community Hospital, the east side of the mall itself is just across 170 Street in the facility, which put it in breach.
Councillor Mike Nickle questioned the way the mall would ensure minors stay from the cannabis shops.
Kilmartin said neighborhood leagues around WEM pointed out the mall has 24-hour security, no outside advertisements, and”there are a lot of different corridors and corners where [shops ] can be obscured from Galaxyland or some of the child-focused areas.”
The new zoning rules imply major industrial centres over two-hectares, or 10,000 square yards, do not need to follow separation space rules. Many Edmonton shopping centers are over that dimension.
The separation rules will still apply to standalone marijuana shops.
Council also discussed a different rule within the bylaw that demanded development permits for cannabis stores to expire over fourteen months.
The regulation allowed the town to issue licenses before cannabis became lawful at October 2018, however they would perish in nine weeks if legalization did not happen.
When Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) suspended issuing new licences in November because of national marijuana supply shortages, dozens of retailers were left in limbo.