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Planning commission seeks Red Deer city council’s advice on cannabis retailers

Numerous cannabis retail applicants have asked for relaxations on setbacks

So many prospective cannabis retailers want a break on location restrictions, the city’s municipal planning commission is asking city council for advice.

Since the city began accepting cannabis retail development permit applications last July, 12 met requirements and were approved by a development officer.

However, six applicants wanted the 150-metre setback from another cannabis retailer rule relaxed, which meant going before the planning commission (MPC). All were turned down.

“Those six applications were refused by the MPC because the variance was considered excessive and clustering of CRS (cannabis retail sales) uses would materially impact the economic development of the area,” says a report going to city council on Monday.

Several applicants have said they plan to appeal.

At its Oct. 17, the planning commission passed a resolution requesting that council review the cannabis retail regulations and “consider providing variance guidelines to the development authority for future considerations of cannabis retail sale applications.”

The issue is going to city council on Monday.

City manager Craig Curtis recommends that no variances be permitted for cannabis. Council has already asked for a report in 14 months “with respect to implications of the number of cannabis retail stores, separation distances from sensitive uses and land use district.

“This item can be reviewed in conjunction with that report,” says Curtis.

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