Using a GIS-Based Multi-Criteria Evaluation Model to Site a Cannabis Dispensary Within Guelph, Ontario
With the impending legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, select municipalities have been chosen to host some of the first marijuana dispensaries in Ontario. The City of Guelph is among one of 29 municipalities in Ontario approved for a storefront. While the specific location of the dispensary is yet to be announced there is sufficient literature and legislation that can provide an insight as to where the dispensary should be sited. Constraining factors that will limit the location of a dispensary will be derived from literature and include proximity to schools, parks, LCBOs and other sensitive locations (ie. churches) as well as taking population density and average age by dissemination area into account. Additional criteria include public accessiblity via public transportation and that the dispensary must be located on commercially zoned land. Using ArcGIS, a multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) is conducted to determine the average suitability of all commercial zones within each dissemination area which satifies constraints to site the incoming marijuana dispensary. This study has the potential to aid the Government of Ontario and City of Guelph in appropriately selecting where to build the storefront in the coming months. The output of our model indicates dissemination areas 35230378 and 35230379 as the two most suitable locations for a dispensary. These DAs are located on the east side of Guelph at Victoria Road and York Road.