Wheatland council okays retail cannabis store for Gleichen

·1 min read

Wheatland County Subdivision Appeal Board (SDAB) has upheld the decision of the county’s Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) to approve the discretionary use of a retail cannabis store in the hamlet of Gleichen following an appeal hearing on Wednesday, May 25.

The development was approved by the MPC in April 2022 for a two-year term with conditions; shortly afterwards, the SDAB received a notice of appeal from an adjacent business owner citing negative impacts the development would have on the community and urging them to overturn the decision.

Among the concerns raised in opposition letters received by the SDAB is the proximity of the proposed facility to both the Gleichen library and community centre. It was also noted the community has been struggling with intoxicated loiterers and vandalism, and there were concerns a retail cannabis store could further promote this behaviour.

However, in a letter from the applicant it was noted the proposed location is currently vacant, which has “promoted people to hang there without any restriction” and that a business operating out of the building would not only help deter loitering, but also help control it. The applicant also shared they had canvassed residents of both Gleichen and the nearby neighbouring Siksika Nation to query interest in the development.

A total of 31 letters of support, including 17 from Siksika residents, from this canvassing and a total of 106 residents from both the hamlet and Siksika Nation had shown support for the proposed development.

The SDAB submitted a written decision on May 31 to uphold the development’s approval for a two-year term ending in April 2024 with conditions.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail

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