Pot shops to be treated like liquor stores

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If you’re wondering where pot shops in St. Albert will be allowed, you need not look further than the nearest liquor store.

St. Albert will be treating cannabis stores like liquor stores once pot is legalized in October. On Monday, city councillors put their final stamp on changes to the land use bylaw that will permit cannabis retailers to set up shop in the same areas as liquor.

That includes some areas along Leclair Way next to The Enjoy Centre and in South Riel, as well as north of Coal Mine Road and Grandin Parc Village. Discretionary areas are located along St. Albert Trail, downtown St. Albert, in the Campbell Business Park and in the new Erin Ridge shopping area, to name a few.

All of council except Coun. Sheena Hughes voted in favour of treating cannabis similar to liquor stores in St. Albert.

Councillors debated the prospect of treating cannabis stores like liquor stores on June 25 but didn’t vote on the issue. Monday’s amendment cleared that up.

During the June 25 meeting, Hughes expressed concerns over where cannabis stores could be located. That included issues with proximity between stores and between day cares.

“I do not want to go from the best place to raise a family to the easiest place to buy pot,” she said at the time.

Councillors disagreed, citing concerns over competition between day cares and cannabis stores looking for space St. Albert. In the end, they scrapped distances between the two and set a 100-metre barrier between cannabis stores.

For other distances, the final rules won’t allow cannabis stores within 100 metres of a hospital or 150 metres from an elementary or secondary school.

Stores will be permitted to open across an arterial road from each other, however, even if it means being within 100 metres of each other. Pot shops will still be required to have a separation distance of at least 10 metres.

Other changes to the land use bylaw include terms and definitions on cannabis and parking requirements for establishments.

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Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.