In a unanimous decision, Moose Jaw welcomed two cannabis retailers to its city.
An abnormally crowded city council meeting had councillors hearing from speaker after speaker, arguing for the stores.
“Marijuana is going to be a lucrative business. Either it’s going to be lucrative for independent drug dealers, or it’s lucrative for us here in our town,” Katrina Zimbaluk told council.
“I think it’s a great decision for our community, it’s very positive,” Zimbaluk said after the meeting. “I think it’s going to provide a lot of opportunities, a lot of revenue, and like people talked about, people are going to come to Moose Jaw instead of people from Moose Jaw going somewhere else to access it.”
Among the people who spoke was Brad Henson. Henson is the former owner of DaconoMeds, a cannabis retailer in Dacono, Colorado. After introducing himself to the council, he quickly dove into the topic.
“I’ve seen a lot of positives come from this, but I recommend to make sure that these facilities are in industrial or commercial zoning. My location was near residential housing and it actually affected the community.”
When pressed on how the storefront had affected the community, Henson noted that it wasn’t a negative impact on the people, but rather an inconvenience to the neighbourhood.
“The community loved me, but unfortunately (the store) was not in the right location. The homes near us got a lot of traffic,” he added.
Henson also brought up a number of potential ideas, such as all stores operating on the same point-of-sale system to avoid resellers, and a yearly licensing fee.
It was exactly the kind of input the city of Moose Jaw was hoping they would receive.
“To get some information from people who have actually had stores, and can bring their wisdom to it, we were very interested, and I was very interested in it personally,” said Fraser Tolmie, Moose Jaw Mayor.
Tolmie says the next step is for the city clerks to gain more information from people with helpful insight like Henson, and from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Association in order to determine how to zone the two cannabis outlets.