The City of Charlottetown can only allow cannabis to be sold in the city, not specify how many stores it’s sold in.
It can also only control buffer zones between the shops and sensitive areas like schools and daycares.
Everything else is up to the provincial government.
“Currently, (the sale of cannabis) is not a permitted use in any of our zones and I’m talking about the retail sale of cannabis,’’ Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the city’s planning committee, said Wednesday.
The city recently held a public meeting to present its plans for a bylaw to regulate the retail establishments in the capital but residents at the public meeting were concerned that Charlottetown is only getting one retail shop, which is what the province said it would get.
It should be noted that the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission issued a press release on Wednesday indicating that no compliant bids for retail location were received from either Charlottetown or West Prince. That means the province will issue a new request for proposals (RFP) to try and solicit a bid.
“All we can control is where in Charlottetown the retail outlet can open,’’ Rivard said, noting that the city can’t control whether it’s one or more shops.
Just the facts
- In Summerside, the retail cannabis store will be located at 425 Granville St. and in Montague it will be located at 509 Main St.
- As of now, no bids were received from the Charlottetown and West Prince locations so a new request for proposal will be sent out
- Safeguards will be put in place by the province to ensure locations are a respectful distance from schools, have necessary security elements and ventilation systems and meet all requirements as laid out in the RFP
- The province previously announced four dedicated government-owned retail locations will open this year as well as an e-commerce platform with direct-to-home delivery.
- The retail sites, as mentioned above, will be located in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague and West Prince
The city can also set a buffer zone between the shop and sensitive areas such as schools and daycares. Right now, the recommendation is 300 metres.
Rivard said one business person at the meeting wanted to know if smoke cafes were going to be set up in bars, to which the response was that it, again, isn’t the city’s call.
One resident told councillors and city staff that the sale of cannabis should be treated just like the sale of liquor and tobacco.
“(The resident) said there is nothing in the bylaw that creates a 300-metre buffer zone from the liquor store and there’s nothing in the bylaw that creates a 300-metre buffer for cigarettes and he just doesn’t think there should be any kind of buffer or anything in place,’’ Rivard said. “He thinks we’re singling out that substance and not the others.’’
The city is looking at three zones for a cannabis shop — mixed-use corridor, highway commercial and shopping centre commercial. The suggestion has also been made that a rule be put in place not allowing two cannabis stores to exist within 1,000 metres of each other so they can’t be bunched into one area.
Another resident said council should be encouraging the province to allow more than one cannabis shop in the city.
“We reminded the resident that this is the province’s RFP, that the province put an RFP across the island for four retail cannabis stores and our understanding is, as of now, one will be set up in Charlottetown,’’ Rivard explained. “Once we put the bylaw in place and make this a permitted use and put the rules in place then, really, the province can open up five retail stores in Charlottetown if they wanted. That’s totally up to the province.’’
Summerside retail outlet location:
Montague retail outlet location: