The City of Winnipeg has been caught off-guard by a change in the provincial rules on cannabis outlets.
The provincial government’s launch last spring of Phase 3 of its framework for retail cannabis came before the municipality could establish rules to decide where marijuana retailers can set up shop.
The absence of a process has the city asking the province to continue its social responsibility location review process, until it can develop a zoning bylaw to assist in reviewing potential retail cannabis locations.
The city had stayed out of regulating the locations to this point.
A letter from the Michael Jack, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer, to the director of operations for Manitoba’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority, says the city only found out in June about the province’s decision to end its location reviews.
“The city does not have any rules or processes in place for reviewing cannabis retail locations. To ensure the sale of cannabis does not negatively impact the general public, a solution would involve an amendment to the Winnipeg Zoning Bylaw. In the meantime, Winnipeg would benefit from LGCA reimplementing the social responsibility location review process,” wrote Jack to the LGCA’s Kadri Irwin.
If the province doesn’t extend its location review process and with the absence of city zoning bylaw changes, a cannabis store could be opened near a school, community club or other sensitive places.