Winnipeg plans to take hands-off approach to cannabis retail
Chief planner recommends province choose where pot shops can go, but city says windows must be opaque
The City of Winnipeg has decided not to create any new rules to govern where cannabis can be sold — but clear glass windows won't be allowed at weed stores.
A city working group on cannabis legalization has concluded provincial officials should approve where cannabis retailers can set up within Winnipeg when recreational cannabis use becomes legal, as it is expected to later this year.
In a report to council's property committee, City of Winnipeg chief planner Braden Smith said no new land-use rules are needed to govern where cannabis retailers can and cannot operate within the city.
Instead, cannabis retail stores ought to be treated the same as liquor retail stores, and provincial officials should review proposed locations, with input from the city, Smith said.
Such city-provincial location reviews would consider what's next to the proposed cannabis retail stores so that they don't set up shop adjacent to "schools, recreational centres and places of worship," Smith writes.
Cannabis retail stores must also have "opaque windows, controlled access, and basic signage" and must also "reflect a high-end shopping environment that has a bright, open concept," he writes.
No public hearings will be required before cannabis retailers can open up, Smith said, recommending against new zoning regulations that would be specific to cannabis retailers.
This report comes before the city's property committee on Monday.
In February, the province awarded four private companies or consortiums the right to sell cannabis at the retail level in Manitoba.