of The Clarion
Kindersley’s mayor says council has decided to indefinitely defer its decision about whether to allow a cannabis retail store in the community.
The town’s elected officials said earlier in 2018 that they would wait until the federal and provincial framework was in place to regulate the sale and use of cannabis before making a decision about whether or not to allow a cannabis retailer or grower in Kindersley.
Cannabis was legalized for recreational use on Oct. 17 by the Canadian government. The federal and provincial framework has been in place since cannabis became legal. The province has two documents in effect to control and regulate the sale and use of cannabis.
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The Cannabis Control Act of Saskatchewan became effective on Oct. 17, along with the Cannabis Control Regulations. A spokesperson for the provincial government said municipalities are responsible for establishing zoning rules for cannabis-based businesses.
Municipal associations including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association have provided members with information to guide and inform their decisions regarding cannabis legalization.
Mayor Rod Perkins said cannabis legalization has been a topic for council in the past, but it has not been a focus of their discussions in recent weeks or since cannabis was legalized. Council will have the final say on whether a cannabis retail store or grow operation will be permitted in Kindersley.
“We have not yet voted on it,” he said, recognizing that the town has met to discuss the situation with officials from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA). “We have not actually even discussed it in the last number of months.”
He noted that council has not discussed zoning bylaw changes with respect to cannabis-based businesses because elected officials still have to decide whether or not they will allow the sale or production of cannabis in the community. Bylaw changes will not be necessary if town officials turn down the retail permit allocation.
Perkins said town officials initially decided to take a “wait-and-see attitude” with respect to how everything was rolled out, and that has not changed. He said he would rather talk to other municipalities with retail stores first to see what should be kept in mind before making a decision.
The mayor could not comment on the likelihood that a retail store would or would not be permitted in town. He said nothing is set in stone with respect to the decision, and the permit would be available through SLGA for the foreseeable future.
“In our meeting with (SLGA), we had told them that we were not at a consensus as to whether or not we should have a store,” Perkins said, recognizing the authority assured council the town has been approved for a permit and it will be available if members decide to approve it.