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White City defers decision on dispensaries
Published Tuesday, March 6, 2018 6:28PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 6, 2018 6:47PM CST
White City is one of approximately 40 cities across Saskatchewan eligible to apply for cannabis retail permits, but can’t decide yes or no.
The mayor, Bruce Evans, and council in the Town of White City have opted to defer a decision on whether pot shops can open in the community. Evans says he isn't "denying" marijuana retailers permission to come to his town, but White City has "delayed" making a decision.
"The only spots that we do have are actually right next door to a skate park and a children’s playground. So, we just don't think that's a very appropriate place,” Mayor of White City, Bruce Evans said.
Approximately 60 cannabis retail permits are going to be handed out to 40 eligible communities across Saskatchewan, if they want them. So far, the Town of Pilot Butte is the only one to formally opt out before the deadline to do so at the end of February.
For towns like White City, more questions need to be answered.
"Frankly, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Is it going to be regulated the same way as tobacco or as alcohol? We don't have a smoking bylaw,” Evans said.
In Saskatchewan, both the wholesaling and retailing of cannabis will be conducted by the private sector, but will be regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
The SLGA is expected to release more information on how that will work later in March.
"SLGA is in the process of finalizing details related to the selection, the timelines, how that is going to work,” David Morries with Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority said.
And the province says this is just the first round.
About a year after marijuana is legalized, SLGA says it may open up more opportunities for more licenses in places that previously may not have been eligible.