The conversation goes to pot


Neepawa Town Council - Sept. 4, 2018

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

The conversation about cannabis has returned to Neepawa. On Tuesday, Sept. 4, Town Council received an update from its administration regarding potential regulations needed to incorporate the sale of the soon to be legalized product. Council requested this information during a meeting back in July. 

After researching the topic, the administration indicated that the federal government has already moved forward with very specific requirements for the licensing, operation and distribution of any business selling cannabis, so local regulations on that front are not required. 

As for if a cannabis sales outlet were to open in Neepawa, the administration recommended the Town follow the guidelines summarized by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM), which include a social responsibility location review process. This process allows for the selection of a retail location, subject to the existing mechanisms that are in place similar to the selection of a liquor store location. The location would be selected by the province, though the municipal jurisdiction would provide input. Council accepted the recommendation for review. 

The reason for this discussion was related to an inquest that has been made to locate a retail outlet within the community. Mayor Adrian de Groot and the other members of the council deliberated on the issue back in July, before deciding to ask the administration to move forward with additional research on the topic.

In 2017, the federal government announced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use by July 2018. Earlier this year, the date was pushed back to Oct. 17, to give municipalities more time to deal with potential regulation changes.

In late December of last year, the Town of Neepawa voted yes to examining the retail sale of cannabis within the community.

Petition received

A petition supporting the halt of construction work on a portion of land between McGill Street and Adelaide Crescent has been formally received by Town Council. The petition was in opposition to land development, which has been used as a local green space for just over 30 years. Earlier this year, the Town of Neepawa, which owned the lot, sold it located to a developer and builder for $20,000. Council acknowledged the receipt of the petition and will be responding to the individuals involved in due course.

Bringing down “The castle”

A tender for the demolition, foundation removal and site restoration at 344 Main Street has been accepted. Total Demolition Ltd. of Portage la Prairie will soon begin tearing down the three-story house, known too many in Neepawa as “The Castle”. Total Demolition was one of three companies who put in a bid to do the work. They had the low bid of $34,680 plays tax. 

Due to extensive interior decay and black mold, as well as an asbestos issue, the demolition of the building must follow very specific guidelines under Workplace Safety and Health.

The Castle has been vacant for about 12 years and is located on the privately owned property. The cost of the demolition can be recouped by the town through the property tax bill.