La Ronge Mayor Ron Woytowich doesn’t believe town council should charge Aura Cannabis an additional business licence fee.
The subject was up for discussion Wednesday at a regular meeting, where council briefly talked about what they should do on the matter. Saskatchewan’s two largest cities are already decided, with Saskatoon asking for a $20,000 application fee and another $10,000 for a yearly renewal, while Regina won’t be requesting any money. Prince Albert is currently considering a $30,000 fee, though no firm decisions have yet been made.
“There are no extra policing costs,” Woytowich told the councillors, noting Saskatoon, Regina, and Prince Albert operate their own police forces. “We pay the RCMP and it’s a straight cost.”
When asked by Counc. Dallas Everest about potentially recouping administration costs for bylaws and research, Woytowich noted it’s simply the cost of doing business and said council wouldn’t be considering such a fee if it were a different business wanting to open.
Counc. Jordan McPhail also didn’t seem to favour charging a general fee for administration. He noted, however, he would agree with some kind of endeavour to encourage Aura Cannabis to follow the law.
“I have no problem with a positive ticketing campaign where we do a yearly rate of $10,000 and, if you get nailed with selling to minors, then we keep the $10,000,” McPhail said.
Council ultimately didn’t reach a decision on whether a fee should be charged, but McPhail stressed they should decide the issue at the next regular meeting later this month. Other municipalities which have already decided are Lloydminster ($750), Meadow Lake ($0), Moose Jaw ($250), North Battleford ($130) and Swift Current ($100).
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