Council approves cannabis outlet in Moosomin
February 20, 2018 7:43 am
Moosomin town council voted Wednesday to approve a cannabis outlet for Moosomin.
In January, the provincial government announced that as many as 60 cannabis outlets would be allowed across the province in up to 40 communities, one of which is Moosomin.
The province gave the council in each community the right to decide whether to allow or not allow a cannabis outlet in their community.
Moosomin town council decided to wait until Feb. 14 to make a decision, to give council members time to find out more about the issue at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association convention, and to give the public a chance to have input.
The correspondence the town received on the issue was all in favor of the cannabis outlet, with no one opposed writing to the town.
An online poll at www.world-spectator.com found 70 per cent of people either neutral or in favor of a cannabis outlet in Moosomin, with about 30 per cent either opposed or strongly opposed.
The issue was discussed at the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday, and there was no opposition expressed there.
Councillor Murray Gray secured permission from Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority to extend the deadline for Moosomin to make a decision on the issue from Feb. 28, but council members decided that wasn’t necessary—council members decided they have enough information to make a decision.
“By delaying it I think we’re getting in the way of progress,” Councillor Jason Miller said.
“There was no negative feedback at the chamber meeting at all,” Councillor Murray Gray said.
Councillors also discussed the results of the World-Spectator’s poll, which had 676 votes by last week.
“More than 600 votes says a lot about how big an issue it is,” said Councillor Gray.
“I defer to Sgt. Fefchak, and his expertise and his opinion,” said Councillor Miller. “Personally, in my mind, the provincial government has put us in an awkward position, making us think we have power when we don’t. By delaying it, I think we’re getting in the way of private ventures. If you say no, I would say there’s a legal case to be made, since it’s federally legal, that we’re getting in the way of something that is legal, so you open yourself up to litigation.”
Councillor Garry Towler says he likes the fact that any cannabis outlet would have to be a stand-alone business, and not incorporated within another business. “It does concern me for the younger age group,” he said.
“It does concern me but I think you have to look at it as another business coming to town,” said Mayor Larry Tomlinson.
“It concerns me when you look at the statistics for Colorado and Washington when they brought it in that they could grow their own marijuana,” said Councillor Ron Fisk. “If you look at highway fatalities related to cannabis, it doubled in the first year. I get the feeling to saying yes to making it more convenient, the first time somebody dies in an accident, I’m going to have a guilt trip.”
“I don’t think that changes if we do or don’t,” said Councillor Jason Miller.
“No, I don’t think so,” said Councillor Teddi Taylor.
“Those numbers were probably there all the time, but they looked for it more once it was legalized,” suggested Councillor Garry Towler.
After the discussion, councillors decided they were ready to make a decision.
“I’ve discussed it as much as I can in the last month with as many people as I can,” said Councillor Murray Gray.
Mayor Larry Tomlinson and councillors Jason Miller, Teddi Taylor, Murray Gray, and Garry Towler voted in favor of allowing a cannabis outlet in Moosomin, while Councillor Ron Fisk voted against. Councillor Chris Davidson was away.