The School District 79 board of education has told local governments it does not want marijuana dispensaries near its schools. (Citizen file)

The School District 79 board of education has told local governments it does not want marijuana dispensaries near its schools. (Citizen file)

Board wants pot shops far from schools

SD79 officials have asked councils not to allow marijuana dispensaries in close proximity

School District 79 officials do not want marijuana dispensaries near their schools and have written to local governments to say so.

The letter, dated June 12, from board chair Candace Spilsbury noted “the Board wishes to inform all local governments of the high need to collectively do our utmost to protect our young people and to ask that the community’s best interests at heart be considered in planning any local developments.”

Spilsbury later said they aren’t taking a stand for or against the use of medical marijuana, they just don’t want dispensaries in close proximity to schools.

“We just wrote to make sure that if they have any action around stores that they keep our interests in mind,” she said. “It’s more than our interests, it’s the interests of the community around the best child development that we can provide as a community.”

Duncan Mayor Phil Kent effectively said no problem…for now.

“We addressed that issue quite clearly last year with respect to our bylaws and zoning and we just simply don’t allow them as they’re not congruent with the federal statutes or provincial statutes,” he said of pot shops.

Kent said dispensaries cannot obtain business licences in Duncan right now.

“Once the regulation is clear council would then consider how to regulate it from a land use perspective in the city,” he said. “We’ve made our thoughts clearly known to the federal process and look forward to discussions with the province as they move forward on how they would apply those regulations when they’re clearly stated.”

Both Kent and Spilsbury noted that once federal and provincial regulations change, a much larger community discussion on the topic would be warranted.