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Full council will look at committee’s advice Aug. 18, then submit report to the GN

The Iqaluit City Council’s strategic planning and economic development committee—at a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 14.—has voted in support of a proposed cannabis retail store for Iqaluit.

Nuna Cannabis Store, which would be located on Federal Rd. in Iqaluit, would be the first of its kind in Nunavut.

The Government of Nunavut had started seeking applications for cannabis retail licences on June 1.

While the City of Iqaluit doesn’t get a say on approval of the store, a function reserved for the GN, the territorial government has asked city council for feedback.

“They would like our opinions on the matter, what we would like to see within our own community when it comes to cannabis and cannabis regulations and stores,” said Geoffrey Byrne, the city’s economic development officer.

“The main topics that they express interest in are, of course, the zoning of locations and hours of operation, as well as the amount of stores.”

The feedback isn’t just for the current application, but also for future retail cannabis applications.

Coun. Kyle Sheppard began the discussion by praising the GN for its work on cannabis retail store regulations under the Cannabis Act.

“I’m very pleased with the document they’ve prepared when it comes to how they’re regulating retail operations. It’s very thorough.” he said.

“They’ve done a lot of the work that I expected we’d have to do and I’m quite comfortable with what they’ve come up with.”

Committee members discussed the availability of parking, the possibility of limiting cannabis store hours, the number of stores that should be allowed in the city, and minimum allowable distances between stores and schools.

By the end of the discussion, Mayor Kenny Bell moved to recommend that council support the proposed store.

“We asked for a cannabis store by motion,” Sheppard said, referring to the first city council meeting of the year, when council passed a motion calling for the opening of a retail cannabis store in the city.

“I don’t have any issues with the development.”

While seconding the motion, Sheppard suggested an amendment, that it be conditional on the approval of a development permit.

“I think that’s a big condition at this point in time when it relates to the change in density of usage and the parking situation.”

Council passed the motion with the amendment.

The recommendation will now go to a special city council meeting on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m.

If council supports and makes more recommendations for the proposed cannabis retail location, Byrne will then prepare a report on behalf of the city and submit it to the GN.

That report will outline what the city wants to see for this current application, as well as those in the future.

The public consultation period for the proposed Iqaluit cannabis store closes on Aug. 20.

Those interested in listening to the Aug. 18 special council meeting can do so on the city’s YouTube page.

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