The Town of Battleford and the City of North Battleford are starting to put plans in place to amend their zoning bylaws to prepare for the national legalization of cannabis expected this summer.
At its meeting Monday, town council gave reviewed the proposed zoning amendment for cannabis retail sales and production.
In the proposed zoning amendment, a retail outlet would be permitted across the highway from the town in the highway-commercial zoned area. At council’s discretion, a retail outlet could also be established in downtown Battleford if council approves the location as another option.
“By leaving it as discretionary, it still leaves that ability for someone to open up a store downtown,” Mayor Ames Leslie said following council.
He said since the provincial law requires any cannabis retail store site to be at least 150 metres away from any school or playground, council has decided to designate the downtown as discretionary use.
The bylaw also indicated any signage for a retail outlet cannot include any images.
The town is only permitted one retail outlet.
For production, the town is restricting zoning for any potential operation to the farthest northwest part of the town so it won’t be near any residential areas.
The town’s bylaw amendment will next be advertised and then come back to council for a public hearing before it can go to second and third reading for final approval.
For the City of North Battleford, council will discuss proposed zoning bylaw amendments at its meeting March 26.
The proposal permits retail cannabis outlets in commercial zones at council's discretion. That space would include the downtown area.
Mayor Ryan Bater explained the proposal containes stipulations to prevent outlets from setting up shop near schools or playgrounds.
Bater said production will solely be in the city's industrial areas.
Details about the city's proposed zoning amendment will be available on the city's website as well as at the city's pop-up meeting at the Civic Centre on Wednesday.
"We expect that cannabis will be legalized in Canada sometime this summer, based on what we're hearing from the prime minister," Bater said. "As a community, we want to be prepared for that. We know that the province has allowed two retail permits in our city. We want to ensure any entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of that business opportunity have as much information as possible prior to this summer, to allow them to begin their enterprise in a timely manner."
On Twitter: @battlefordsnow
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