Calgary is taking the advice of cities like Vancouver and Toronto where marijuana distribution centres have proliferated, and will bring in rules limiting where medical marijuana counselling centres can set up.
The Calgary rules will see the centres having to apply for a development permit which allows nearby residents a chance to challenge the location.
The medical marijuana counselling centres also cannot be within 150 meters of a school or 3 hundred meters within another dispensary.
While council passed the motion 10 to 3, Councillor Brian Pincott voted against the rules for the medical marijuana counselling centres.
“We are striving to put, for all of these fear based arguments, that we need to manage this and not have signs with marijuana leaves on them, whereas we don’t do anything around head shops which are in pretty much every neighborhood of every community.”
Councillor Evan Woolley, who voted against, wonders if regulations are necessary in Calgary.
“I understand the challenges that are faced in Vancouver. It’s just bad for the street; it’s bad for businesses. The decisions of why these things got out of control in Toronto and Vancouver and other cities is because the police forces made a decision not to enforce. I don’t know that you need direction from council to enforce the face that marijuana is still illegal.”
Councillor Shane Keating says the rules and regulations are a good starting point and there could be changes made if necessary.
“I don’t see the harm in that at this point. If it gets more constrictive in the future, or if we don’t see a need for change in the future then maybe we can say we’ve over-regulated. But today, it’s simply saying, ‘let’s start here, let’s adjust as we move on in the future.'”
There could be changes in the future, with the federal government moving towards legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana.