Calgary wants minimum separation distances for cannabis stores on Stephen Avenue

A committee at Calgary City Hall is recommending that rules on separation distances between cannabis retail stores be put in place on a stretch of 8 Avenue from Macleod Trail to 9 Street S.W.

The majority of that area is identified as Stephen Avenue Mall, a main corridor and pedestrian thoroughfare.

The city has separation distance rules in place that stipulate cannabis stores cannot be located within 300 metres of each other, but those rules do not apply to the downtown.

In a report to city council’s planning and urban development committee, a concern about proliferation was raised. Bringing in a 300-metre separation distance rule will allow for the approval of another four to five stores along with the three that have already received approval for the area. Without the separation, more than double that number of stores could have been approved.

Marco De Iaco is the executive director of the Calgary Downtown Association and agreed with what the city is planning.

“We’re on a mission to rejuvenate downtown right now and part of that exercise is reinventing and looking at the brand of Stephen Avenue,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s attractive to investors, Calgarians and visitors.”

Watch below: (From October 2018) There were lineups again outside Calgary cannabis stores on Saturday and retailers aren’t sure if their supply will last until their next order arrives. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports.

Councillor Druh Farrell said she believes the fact that there are separation distances between cannabis stores in other areas of the city but not in the downtown must have been an oversight.

The guidelines would be in place for retail stores at street level and not impact stores in enclosed malls.

City council will vote on the matter later this month.

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