The City of Swift Current has approved the proposed development of a cannabis retail store in the heart of the downtown core

The decision was made Tuesday evening as council voted unanimously in favour of the development permit received from Dreamweavers Cannabis Products Inc. to set up shop at 106 Central Avenue North.

Michael Ruus, the general manager of planning and growth development with the City of Swift Current, said the proposed business passed all three of the zoning bylaw's discretionary use criteria.

"Based on our zoning bylaw, we'd need to make a case that essentially it doesn't meet the zoning regulations, it would impede future development, or cause a health and safety concern," he said. "Based on our research that our team has done internally, the best practices that we have taken a look at industry-wide, indicate that a cannabis retail store in the downtown core really does make sense."

The City received six letters regarding the proposed cannabis store (five negative and one positive), and even with the mostly negative feedback, Ruus believes the City made the right choice.

"We really need to base our decisions on the research that's out there and the industry best practices," Ruus told Swift Current Online. "That's what we need to form our professional decision on."

Ron Toles, a second-term city councillor, said that he wasn't happy with the way the federal government handled the legalization of cannabis, but felt council made the right conclusion on the proposed development.

"I'm not opposed to cannabis retail stores in Swift Current, it's a thing that we have to live with," he said during the council meeting. "I guess I'm not even opposed to having them in the downtown area, we already have several liquor outlets, legal intoxicating beverages in the downtown area... as of right now I can't see a cannabis retail store being any more threat to the public or the properties."

Now that Dreamweavers Cannabis Products Inc. has been approved for discretionary use at 106 Central Avenue North they will have to secure a business license and possible building permits if they're doing leasehold improvements.

And in a weeks time (on October 17) if they had everything in order could realistically open their doors as the first cannabis shop Swift Current has ever housed.

Saskatchewan entrepreneur Kevin Tindall, the other business to receive a permit to sell cannabis in Swift Current has yet to put forward a development permit application to the City.

"At this point, I believe they're still looking to secure a location," Ruus said after council. "Once they're ready to proceed with the development permit application, we will be working with them from start to finish. We're looking forward to having another couple of businesses in the downtown."

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