Regina City Council looking to expand cannabis industry in the city; makes it easier to start a business

Regina City Council approved a report highlighting the legalization of cannabis on the city’s black market.

When legalization occurred in 2018, the city decided to allow only 6 stores, and enacting some of the strictest rules in the country.

Mayor Sandra Masters says the stores have had a devastating impact to the black market, and more stores would eliminate it even further.

“There is, clearly, much less being acquired or purchased within the black market,” said Masters. “The idea being, that if, we ease some of the restrictions relative to where and how many can operate, this should continue to chew away at some of that black market operation.”

The city’s report also showed most of the concerns surrounding the legalization of cannabis haven’t materialized at all, adding they’re confident in the industry and the economic benefits it provides.

When asked if the city can ever eliminate the illegal cannabis industry, Masters says they’re going to do the best they can.

“That market will always exist,” said Masters “But anything we can do to offer legal cannabis sales, we believe should continue on the trend that it’s on, it should continue to eat away at that.”

Council also decided to expedite the processes around Discretionary Use Applications in the city for noncontroversial applicants, making it easier for people to start a business.

Of 55 applications last year, only 2 were denied by council.

Masters says it’s not necessary to bring every application up for debate, adding the city wants to encourage people to start businesses rather than scare them away with red tape.

“What this does is remove a whole bunch of red tape and process, not just for administration and the customer, which is pretty key, because we want to be a place where it’s easier to do business, and for people to set up shop,” said Masters. “But it also eases our clerks, and it eases council’s time as well.”

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