Mayor asks city staff to get ready for legal pot

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CTV Ottawa

Published Wednesday, August 29, 2018 5:42PM EDT

Last Updated Wednesday, August 29, 2018 5:43PM EDT

At council Wednesday, Mayor Jim Watson directed city staff to collect information around pot before it becomes legal on October 17th.

Watson’s list includes:

  • Public consultations, including the option of an online survey to gather feedback from the community on pot.
  • Look into potential zoning, enforcement tools, licensing, and the ability to opt-out from private stores.
  • That staff research the current Planning Act in regards to limiting locations for cannabis storefronts.

“I think it’s important that we know the rules of the game from the province, and the public have a sense that we’re not going to end up with a cannabis store right next to a high school, for instance,” Watson said.

The information is to be passed on to the new council after the fall election on October 22nd. The Provincial Government has plans to allow pot to be sold in private stores by April, 2019.

This leaves little time for council to prepare a bylaw or set other regulations on pot, or pot shops.

“There’s going to be a gap, at best, we’ll be signaling to the employees and public where it’s going,” said councillor Rick Chiarelli.

Without the ability to limit locations, Chiarelli and other councillors are concerned multiple pot shops are going to end up in one neighbourhood.

It remains unclear how many legal pot shops will be allowed in Ottawa.

“I think it’s important we know the rules from the province,” Watson said.

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