Highlights of Alberta Cannabis Retail Business Regulations

Highlights of Alberta Cannabis Retail Business Regulations

AGLC and Retail Applications

To date, there have been 250 retail applications submitted to the AGLC from companies intending set up storefronts to sell cannabis. Out of the 250 applications, only 87, or about a third, have made it past the required criminal and financial background checks. Approximately half of those are in the Edmonton area.

Extensive background checks pose a significant barrier to individuals who previously operated in the cannabis black market and hoped to transition into the legal market. Unsurprisingly, there are diverging views on this matter. Many Canadians believe that a criminal record should preclude eligibility to conduct business in the legal cannabis space, so as to not encourage criminal interests within the industry. On the other hand, there is a growing view that the legal cannabis industry presents an opportunity for individuals with cannabis-related convictions to establish a career and make a positive contribution in the legal cannabis economy.

It is expected that there will be around 250 eligible retail applications within the coming months as municipalities establish their regulations pertaining to zoning and land-use.

Breakdown of Retail Application Requirements and Rules for Businesses

  • Background checks: Criminal background checks for applicants and their associates and employees;
  • Fees: $400 non-refundable application fee; $700 annual license fee; $3,000 deposit for background checks (unused amounts will be refunded)
  • Municipal Approval: Zoning regulations and Land-Use Bylaws for cannabis retail were voted on by Calgary city council on April 5, 2018 and are highlighted below.
    • 150 Metre distance from property line of schools
    • 150 Metre distance from property line of emergency shelters
    • 300 Metre separation between cannabis stores
    • 100 Metre separation distance from property line of Municipal, School Reserve, and School Reserve parcels
    • Find out more about Cannabis retail bylaws, zoning, land-use: http://www.calgary.ca/PDA/pd/Pages/Business-licenses/Cannabis-Store.aspx

Bylaws for Edmonton are yet to be determined.

  • Business Requirements:
    • Must be incorporated or registered in Alberta extra-provincially
    • No co-location with alcohol or tobacco
    • Signed lease of certificate of title
  • Retail Store Requirements: Point of sale area, dedicated shipping/receiving area, secure storage, alarm system, video surveillance, secure product display
  • Other:
    • Supply must be purchased exclusively through AGLC
    • Store hours must to be within the window of 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. (Determined by municipalities)
    • Only approved cannabis accessories can be sold
    • No minors; government-issued ID will be required for anyone appearing under the age of 25
    • No selling to intoxicated individuals

Requirements for Employees and Workers

  • Completion of AGLC’s SellSafe Cannabis Training program
  • Criminal record check
  • Complete and submit Application for Qualified Worker form

We believe that access for patients and legal-age adults to safe and high-quality Cannabis and Cannabis products is an essential right in a free market economy. We believe that Cannabis and Cannabis products must be affordable and supported by meaningful education and awareness in order to increase the likelihood that the Black and Grey Markets will successfully be eliminated.

We believe in the necessity of creating awareness for all generations of the many medicinal and wellness-centric benefits of Cannabis as an effective lifestyle product. We believe in the power of innovative technologies and processes that increase the access of legal-aged consumers, while simultaneously reducing the cost for regulated Cannabis. We believe in ensuring a fair market environment for the innovation of new cannabis products, thereby increasing access for the benefit of all Canadians.