The majority of Battleford council was in favour of permitting the retail sale of cannabis at one location after the product becomes legal for recreational use in Canada, expected July 1.
"There is a lot of uncertainly yet with the government still needing to finalize some of the details from this side," Mayor Ames Leslie said. "But I think council took a while in the discussion and waited for the last possible council meeting before the deadline to make the decision."
In the four-to-one vote, councillors Judy Pruden, Kevin Russell, Doug Laing, as well as Leslie voted in favour of it, while Coun. Gordon Yarde was against it. Councillors Susan McLean Tady and Shelley Boutin-Gervais were absent.
The mayor said Yarde mentioned in the council meeting he is fundamentally opposed to recreational cannabis in general.
In a written report to council, CAO John Enns-Wind said the province will regulate the sale and distribution of retail and wholesale cannabis.
“Whether you agree with it or not, it is still a new business that will be in the community," Leslie said.
The province indicated there would be 60 permits for retail sale of marijuana available in 40 Saskatchewan municipalities and First Nations communities as announced, but in the future that number could increase.
"I have been informed there have been a few people interested in the community, and a few that are from outside the community," Leslie said.
The town is not responsible for determining what business will be permitted to sell cannabis.
All applications go to the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) which will decide what entrepreneur will receive the permit for the one site in the town through a lottery system.
The business that receives the permit will need to apply for a business licence as well as a building permit through the town and ensure the zoning bylaws are suitable for the business site.
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