City maps possible locations for pot shops
The city released an outline of more than 300 possible locations for pot shops across London
City staff released a map on Tuesday outlining more than 300 possible locations for pot shops across London.
A report presented to city councillors outlined possible geographic guidelines for marijuana stores, including opening up shops with at least a 500 meter buffer from schools, community centres and libraries.
Planning Manager John Fleming said the map is consistent with proposed recommendations based on locational requirements that work with current policies and bylaws.
"We wanted to make sure that these were directed to locations that we thought had significant amount of parking, places that were outside of the downtown not associated with main streets," he said.
"We also wanted to make sure they could be well distributed across the city and separated from places where minors might congregate places like schools and community centres and parks and arenas."
Fleming said that the working map is for illustrative purposes only and it's up to the province to decide the number of stores and their location.
A closer look
Council received the map on Tuesday — when the Ontario legislature passed the Cannabis act, giving the government a monopoly on recreational marijuana sales.
As illustrated in the map, the red markings — which appear to be mostly on the city's edges — outline possible locations for pot shops that could open in the areas of shopping centres and commercials corridors.
Other locational constraints city staff took into account were making sure the shops were kept away from community centres, public pools, libraries, elementary and secondary schools and the Western Fair District.
The province announced plans to open 40 stand-alone stores, run by the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, by July 1, 2018 — when the federal government legalizes recreational marijuana.
City councillors approved a resolution that will ask the province to open up five pot shops in London instead of the one store announced by the province. The thinking is more stores would better regulate the product.