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Cannabis Moratorium Passes First Reading

Non-medical marijuana related developments may have to wait before setting up shop in Lloydminster. The Cannabis Moratorium passed its first reading in council on Tuesday.

If the second and third reading are passed it will prevent developments until June 11 at the latest. Council says this may be lifted before that date, however they are waiting for the Saskatchewan and Alberta governments to provide legislation so the City can prepare local bylaws and policies.

“We’d rather set the laws first and then let the retail and businesses environment go from there. Once we have an understanding of where we need to be provincially, administration will prepare some bylaws and will bring those forward to council,” says Mayor Gerald Aalbers.

He adds, “I ask people to bare with us in the retail area and the business community, the city wants to do it right the first time and I think they would appreciate that, that we do that right. As well as the residents want it done correctly.”

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During council there was some discussion regarding the fact that council could decided to not allow for recreational marijuana to be sold in the city. However Aalbers says this could come with legal opposition.

“It would be no different than prohibition back. Certainly we realize the community has input but certainly they have to realize the Supreme Court of Canada has decided a lot of different things and I don’t think that as tax payers they want us to be defending our bylaws at the Supreme Court Of Canada. We have to be realistic and what that means will come forward in due time.”

Adding to the complexity of the impending legalization is the fact that we are a border city. Aalbers says that is why they are making sure it is done right so the community as a whole is treated equally.

There will be a public hearing on the moratorium on December 11 at 2 p.m., following that a second and third reading will take place.

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