The first step to getting a legalized pot shop in Kitchener was taken Tuesday.
City officials met with members from the Ontario Ministry of Finance and the LCBO to set priorities – namely where to set up shop.
“We’re both concerned about our vulnerable sector such as youth,” says Kitchener’s director of by-law enforcement Gloria MacNeil.
MacNeil says they are not closer to identifying a specific location but are in agreeance about where they do not want to see a pot shop.
“We don’t want them near schools,” says MacNeil. “The municipality has also identified that we would prefer them not to be near a daycare, church, community centres. Anywhere where there is going to be the potential for youth to be.”
Additionally, the city says it would prefer to have the store in a location near highways, with plenty of parking and good transit access.
Christopher Perlman, an assistant professor of public health at the University of Waterloo agrees that anywhere near schools would be a bad idea.
“I don’t think you want it tucked away in some alley somewhere, either, because it’s not that you want to reduce the stigma around cannabis use, but you want to improve visibility and public safety,” says Perlman.
“By having it tucked away somewhere, it’s going to create risks of people that shouldn’t be accessing the product to access it,” Perlman added.
So where is the right location? The city says they don’t know but they are open to suggestions.
With reporting by Stu Gooden