The first reading for Melfort’s cannabis retail store zoning bylaw took place during council's Aug 13. meeting, and it was announced the public will be able to voice their opinions before the bylaw is finalized.
A special council meeting Thursday, Aug. 23 will serve as a public hearing for the cannabis store location bylaw, along with a second and third reading before council votes to pass it or not. Mayor Rick Lang said council will take the public’s responses into consideration.
“The reality is, it’s happening in every community across the province,” Lang said. “It’s something that we’ll have to live with, make sure it’s well policed and cause as few problems as possible.”
The proposed bylaw states Melfort’s one approved cannabis store can set up shop in the retail, highway, or shopping centre commercial district, as long as it’s 150m away from public schools, playgrounds, or licensed daycares.
Lang said he believes the regulations for the cannabis store will be ready by the nationwide legalization date of Oct. 17, but mentioned the retailer chosen to operate Melfort’s store will have more concerns getting ready in time.
With discussions in Prince Albert and Saskatoon regarding a more expensive business license fee for cannabis stores, the City of Melfort decided to keep the fee cost for the cannabis store the same as other businesses in the city.
“To single out an individual business and say ‘you’re different and we’re going to stomp on you,’ it didn’t make any sense to us,” Lang said.
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