Canada outright legalized the use of cannabis (both recreational and medical) in 2018, and since then there have been a lot of cannabis stores that have popped up. This includes near the Edmonton Public LIbrary, and those that run the library aren’t too happy about the proximity of the cannabis stores. There have been multiple businesses that have wanted to be close to the library, but the feeling isn’t mutual, with the EPL challenging the city to move the cannabis operations.
If it were up to the Edmonton Public Library, the cannabis stores would be at least 200 metres away, which is what the city bylaw had originally said. These cannabis stores were able to appeal much to the chagrin of the library system. Gastone Monai, the CFO of the library said that “EPL was concerned about the proximity of cannabis stores to the library locations in these three locations…EPL is now seeking clarification from the court.”
The library is taking their fight to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, hoping to push those cannabis stores further away. They didn’t give any specifics as to why they wanted these stores to go beyond the 200 metre limit, but they are very adamant that an agreement is met between the two sides with the SDAB enforcing the bylaws.
It isn’t the first time that the EPL has had to appeal to get a store further away from their proximity. Two liquor stores back in 2014 tried to come within 500 meters, and were shot down. As for the cannabis developers like Andy Zheng Chan, he says that the appeal from the EPL isn’t right. “From our perspective, it is not fair what the city is doing to business owners, especially for cannabis retail,” he said. “It is a very difficult process to get a (cannabis store). There’s a lot of uncertainty and risk involved and now this. It doesn’t seem like anyone is on the same page.”