The second cannabis store application in Swift Current will be reconsidered by council after a change in its location in the downtown business area.
Councillors voted in favour of a motion at a regular council meeting on July 29 to consider a discretionary use application for a cannabis retail store at 212 Central Avenue North.
Council approved the original application for a second cannabis store in Swift Current in February. That development permit was for a store at 220 Central Avenue North, which is next door to the new application.
Kathy Dand, the City’s acting general manager for planning and development, told the meeting the previous application by the permit holder 102014474 Saskatchewan Inc. was submitted in partnership with Westleaf Retail Inc.
“Since that time, the partnership between these two companies was dissolved and the location is no longer under a purchase agreement,” she said.
The permit holder 102014474 Saskatchewan Inc. has 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.
“They are now applying for a change of use development permit to establish a cannabis retail store as a discretionary use at 212 Central Avenue North,” she explained. “This location is within the DC2-C1 direct control central downtown district, which allows cannabis retail as a discretionary use.”
The City’s zoning bylaw determines that a discretionary use must be formally approved by a council resolution.
“Additional procedures, including a public hearing, are also required to ensure council considers whether the proposed development conforms to the 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,” Dand said.
A public notice will be mailed to all assessed property owners within a 75-metre radius of the proposed cannabis retail store and it will also be advertised in the local media. The public hearing for this application will take place at the regular council meeting on Aug. 26 and council will make a decision at the Sept. 9 regular meeting.
Councillor Ron Toles said this application does not appear to be a significant issue, because the proposed cannabis retail store will simply move next door.
On a broader level he restated a point he made previously at meetings that the 75-metre radius for development permit applications needs to be reviewed. He felt interested parties beyond this distance might be affected by an activity that requires a development permit.
Councillor Ryan Plewis said council already had a couple of public hearings for development permit applications. He encouraged people to be involved and to have their say by attending the public hearing or by submitting correspondence in writing.
“We do look at those things, we do listen to them,” he mentioned. “Public opinion has changed the way we do things from time to time. So it's not an empty process. It is actually a process that means something.”
He added that as far as morality issues are concerned with regard to cannabis use, there are none to consider in this case, because it has been legally allowed in Canada.