Regina setting cannabis zoning regulations

The City of Regina is closer to knowing where cannabis retail stores will go in the city after councilors approved a report on Monday.

The administration will begin reworking the bylaw to be finalized in June, as the province will be issuing six cannabis retail store permits in Regina.

Council voted to not allow cannabis retail stores to set up within one block or 600 feet of certain zones frequented by youth.

The downtown area is approved for discretionary use, meaning any stores that want to locate there, must first get council approval. Councilor’s hope having a location downtown would help eliminate illegal sales in the area.

“We want to make sure that at least what you’re doing is safe. So no fentanyl or all those other additives that are in there, and go to a legal dispensary to get that,” Councilor Mike O’Donnell said.

For the first time in the history of the city, council approved a reciprocal buffer zone. It means schools, parks, day care centres, enclosed rinks, public libraries, and public community centres won’t be able to setup within one block or 600 feet of an already established pot shop.

“They should be told if you go in there, in this area, there is a cannabis store and it is not permitted. It just makes sense,” Mayor of Regina Michael Fougere said.

The Saskatchewan Liquor Gaming Authority is expected to award permits for retailers as early as Friday. Fougere isn’t concerned about the timing though, as he says all forms of government are being rushed.

“If we take another month to amend our bylaw to reflect the report tonight, I’m not concerned about that. We have to get it right,” Fougere said.

A review of how the zoning is working in the city is set to be done after 18 months of legalization.