Mayor Chris Goertzen says Steinbach city council hopes to make a decision in the next month or two on how it will handle the issue of retail cannabis sales. He says they got new information from the province last week at the Municipal Officials Seminar in Brandon on ways municipalities can determine whether to allow retail marijuana sales and, if so, how.
"There can be a plebiscite issued in a municipality. There can be very restrictive zoning bylaws created. Council will look at this information and make choices accordingly."
Goertzen says it's a complicated issue because even if there is not a retail marijuana outlet in a community, residents will be able to easily obtain it.
"There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to how this is being implemented. I think many people recognize that it is being used in the community illegally and there will be a change in summer that will make it legal. The fact of the matter too, is that it is going to be sold online which will make it readily available to everyone in the community regardless if there is a retail location or not. It's going to be an interesting discussion with the community and with council."
He notes the city is currently reviewing its zoning bylaw so it would be a good time to set out rules regarding cannabis sales if council chooses to allow them in Steinbach.