Legal marijuana stores in Saskatoon could be getting a break after a city committee voted to reduce license fees.

City council's Planning, Development and Community Services Committee is recommending council reduce a $10,000 annual fee for pot shops in Saskatoon to $500.

Living Skies Cannabis owner Cierra Sieben-Chuback said the original fee would be a major hit to her downtown business.

“Being an independent, locally-operated business, that is a cost that most businesses have to really consider. It’s one of those things making sure our cash flow is working out how it’s supposed to be.”

City administrators decided to impose a $20,000 licensing fee for a pot shop’s first year of operation, and a $10,000 annual renewal charge. The usual licensing fee to open other types of commercial businesses in Saskatoon was $125 at the time, with an annual renewal fee of $85.

“It is anticipated that there will be a significant impact on staffing resources when cannabis becomes legal in summer 2018. In order to offset these costs, an initial business license fee of $20,000, which is higher than the conventional business license fee, is being proposed,” a report outlining the proposal, and several other recommendations, explained at the time.

“Once the long-term impact on resources is determined, the bylaw would be amended to reflect long-term costs.”

The committee's recommendation will now go to council.