RM of Gimli Mayor Randy Woroniuk (above) said Gimli passed a resolution that can be revisited once the community recieves clearer information about the province’s cannabis legislation and plans. (File Photo By Brook Jones)
Gimli recently voted “No” on allowing the retail of marijuana, or cannabis, to be sold in their community next summer.
The provincial government is asking each municipality to have their final say on behalf of their constituents, on whether or not to allow cannabis to be sold in their communities in the new year. The federal government plans to make marijuana legal on July 1.
When asked what prompted their decision, Gimli’s Mayor, Randy Woroniuk, said that he felt there wasn’t enough time to make a real decision. “It’s a lot easier to say yes after you say no, than to say no after you say yes.”
Rural Municipalities of Manitoba found out less than a month ago, on Nov. 28, that they had until Dec. 22 to decide how to support cannabis legalization and its retail sales, in 2018.
“It took the province 15 years to appeal (alcohol) prohibition, and now they want us to do something (about marijuana) within just a number of weeks?” said Woroniuk. “I mean it’s coming, it’s going to be legal, there’s no issues with that, it’s just - having the building in our community, where do you have it? I wish people would have just taken a step back and worked together on this, rather than start dividing the community, which that has done.”
Thoughts in the Town of Winnipeg Beach with Mayor Tony Pimentel, are sympathetic towards Gimli, and haven’t yet reached a decision. “Now in that request, they made it clear, that whatever the answer will be, is not really binding, until it comes into law,” said Pimentel. “As long as they’re not breaking any laws, how can we really say no to somebody who wants to establish a business?” Winnipeg Beach will reveal their answer after its Dec. 20 council meeting, just two days before the deadline.
The Manitoba Hotel Association has confirmed its interest in having hotel operators with beer vendors sell cannabis, and Premier Brian Pallister wants to ensure Manitobans have access to marijuana sales within a 30 minute drive for most of the province, to undermine the black market.
“The resolution said that until we get more information from the government, we will revisit this,” said Woroniuk. “At this point in time, we feel we made the best decision for the community.”
-With files Postmedia Network