It was a pretty tame public hearing last night for Swift Current's second cannabis retail store seeking city council's approval.
Back in mid-January the City sent out a notice to property owners within a 75-metre radius of 220 Central Avenue North informing them city council is considering approving 102014474 Sasaktchewan Inc. and Westleaf Retail Inc. for a discretionary use permit. In that same notice, it was stated there would be a public hearing which was last night and the City would allow for written submissions as well.
Only one submission was made to the City (for or against the permit) and it was made by 102014474 Sasaktchewan Inc. owner Darcy McKenna who shared his story about cannabis and how he first discovered the now-legal drug.
"Since I was a small child I have suffered from migraines," he told council. "While Tylenol has helped 80 per cent of those migraines, 20 per cent it would not help and it left me suffering. Long before cannabis medical benefits were recognized by any doctor, while studying at the University of Saskatchewan, a friend suggested I try cannabis and it gave me amazing personal relief. I have known for 20 years that this plant had healing powers and have seen it help both friends and family with a multitude of ailments. I wanted to be on the forefront of this plant helping others through social change."
McKenna went on to share with council and those in attendance, why he applied to the government to be allowed to legally sell cannabis in Swift Current.
"My family and I moved here in 1998 and while I only graduated high school and moved away shortly after, my family has allowed its roots to grow in the community," he said. "My late father was and my mother is a productive member of the community, and they both volunteered with various organizations. I have a brother and sister who both lived in Swift Current and married Swift Current residents and are raising families here today."
Kris Newell, the director of retail operations with Westleaf Retail Inc., joined McKenna in presenting before council and clarified the partnership between the two when asked about it by Swift Current Councillor Bruce Deg.
"We're working as partners," Newell said. "The way that the deal is structured is that once the store is opened and the permit issued, that is when it becomes transferable. At that time that is when Westleaf would be exercising the option, but currently we're just working in partnership with the canna hq team (McKenna's business)."
The City did not receive any other submissions for or against the business' application for a discretionary use permit and city council will make their final decision on the application at their next scheduled meeting on February 25.