Article by CBC News
City councillors in Saskatoon say they aren’t interested in regulating the number of marijuana stores in the city.
On Monday, local pot store owners made their case to a city committee, asking for a gradual increase in the number of marijuana stores in the city and a greater required distance between stores.
The submission came after the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority announced a plans to open submissions for licences for new stores across the province in September, doing away with previous limits on how many could be in each jurisdiction.
Saskatoon was initially granted seven licences, although only six stores are currently open.
The owners group says that if the number of stores isn’t limited, large chains will drive independent stores out of business.
“I’m just saying we should consider putting a cap on it or some sort of phased approach to give us little guys a bit more of a fighting chance,” said Cierra Sieben-Chuback, owner of Living Skies Cannabis.
The group of owners asked for a mandatory separation distance of 500 metres, to make sure that groups don’t cluster around any particular area. Currently, the setback distance is 160 metres.
Councillors and administration both agreed that the city does not regulate the number of businesses in its jurisdiction. Instead, it focuses on zoning concerns, such as distance from playgrounds and schools.
“I am not convinced that it is the city’s job or has been the city’s job in other business licensing spaces to address competition in a retail market,” said councillor Hilary Gough.