Grand Forks Council Chambers tackled their first non-medical cannabis retail store application last Monday. The proposed business would share the Winnipeg Liquor Store’s location. One problem is zoning bylaws requiring 100-metre separations from community use zones and youth centred facilities.

Councillor Rod Zielinski says letting those requirements slide doesn’t make sense to him:

“Both staff, both previous council put a lot of time into these changes to our zoning bylaw for cannabis outfits, and the very first application we get we’re waiving all the setbacks…. that doesn’t make sense to me.”

Councillor Christine Thompson says there’s a number of concerning nearby facilities:

“My concern is also with Gyro Park being right next door and the library, so I think this needs to go out for public comment on this before I feel comfortable making any decision in this regard.”

The Fred Walker Development Centre is also nearby. Mayor Brian Taylor says one of those areas has traditionally been located next to a liquor store for 120 years. Council passed a motion allowing the public notification process to continue but this is not final approval. A public hearing is set to be held and input will be forwarded to the Province.