New cannabis store approved

The process to reconsider an application for a second cannabis store in Swift Current at a different location in the downtown business area has been completed.

Councillors approved a recommendation during a regular council meeting on Sept. 9 to allow the discretionary use and to issue a development permit for a cannabis retail store at 212 Central Avenue North.

This was the second application by the permit holder 102014474 Saskatchewan Inc. to open a cannabis retail store in the city. The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) approved permits for two cannabis retail stores in Swift Current, and the other store already opened in January.

The permit holder for the second store previously partnered with Westleaf Retail Inc. to open a store at 220 Central Avenue North. The City approved the previous application, but the permit holder then entered into a new partnership with YSS Corporation/Sweet Tree Cannabis Co.

The new partners have decided to lease a different retail space, which is immediately next door to the previous location. The change of location to 212 Central Avenue North made it necessary for the new partners to start the application process again.

Marty Salberg, the City’s acting general manager for planning and development, made a presentation during the council meeting about the application and administration’s recommendations.

“Any proposed discretionary use requires council to consider whether the proposed use conforms to the zoning bylaw’s site regulations and development standards, will not be a source of nuisance or endanger the public, and will not impede the orderly development of the surrounding property,” he said. “Additional procedures for public consultation are also required to assist council in making their decision.”

All assessed property owners within a 75-metre radius of the proposed cannabis retail store received notice of the application, the notice was posted on the City’s website, and it was also advertised in a local newspaper.

A public hearing was held at the Aug. 26 regular council meeting, but there were not any presentations by anyone and the City also did not receive any written submissions.

Salberg said the proposal meets the City’s zoning bylaw regulations, because it will occupy existing retail space, but a building permit will be required for the development. The proposed cannabis retail store is not considered to be a nuisance or danger to the public from a land use perspective. The City felt the store will not impede orderly development of surrounding properties.

“The development will be generally consistent with the plans and supporting documentation submitted as part of the development permit application,” he noted. “The development is required to comply with all other applicable municipal, provincial and federal bylaws, standards and regulations related to or affected by the development’s operations.”

Councillor Ryan Plewis remarked that cannabis retail is a legal business in the city and there is therefore really no reason not to approve this use.

“It is exactly in the space that we intended it to be in the community,” he said.

He referred to the development plans that were submitted as part of the application, which provided details with regard to the interior design and layout of the proposed store.

“I continue to be very impressed with the development plans that these companies have,” he said. “It looks very professional, they’re very clean-looking, and it will be a good addition for the downtown as far as retail space goes.”

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