Wayzata one step closer to city-run cannabis dispensary, other municipalities also considering

Wayzata takes step toward creating municipal dispensary

Wayzata takes step toward creating municipal dispensary

The City of Wayzata is one step closer to opening a city-run cannabis dispensary.

With only one council member voting against it, the council and mayor approved a contract – worth at least $15,000 – with Colorado-based consulting firm Point7 to generate a business plan for the possible municipal dispensary.

Already operating a liquor store and restaurant, The Muni, Wayzata is well aware of municipal business operations that generate money for the city.

“We have two goals related to this, first is to diversify revenue,” Emily Goellner, Wayzata’s community development director, said to council members.

“[Then secondly], the community is interested in sustaining its community character and safety, and so that is why the city is exploring the operation of a municipal dispensary to ensure that we protect the community’s wellbeing and safety,” Goellner added.

Wayzata is not the first government to consider this option. It’s part of a workgroup with other municipalities, with Goellner saying nearly 50 government agencies strong.

“I won’t be surprised if a lot of cities look at it,” said DFL Representative Zack Stephenson, who co-led the state cannabis bill that will allow municipalities to do this.

“The experience for a lot of cities has been very positive on municipal liquor stores. So it’s not surprising to me that they’re looking at this,” Stephenson said.

The lawmaker adds that city and county leaders expressed interest in this when they were crafting the bill.

While municipalities prepare to possibly join the cannabis industry, the state is not issuing licenses to operate dispensaries yet.

Wayzata Mayor Johanna Mouton is supportive of locking in the contract with the consulting firm but stressed there are still several steps ahead.

“I expect some really detailed information,” Mouton said during council discussion on the matter, adding, “If we choose to go forward, there will have to be considerable community engagement.”