If you’re looking to be one of the first to open up a cannabis retail store once federal legalization is put into effect, you’d best head over to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s website, and quick.
Applications are now officially open for businesses, organizations, and individuals looking for a retail cannabis license. Be careful though, there are a few hoops to jump through before receiving your certification.
Prospective licensees will need to go through a background check to ensure that they are criminally and financially clear to run a cannabis retailer. If the applicant is an organization, the key employees – those who will be running day to day operations, hiring, and firing – will be subject to the personal and financial background checks.
Anyone hoping to apply will also have to pony up a $400 non-refundable application fee for each store, a $700 annual license fee, and a $3,000 initial deposit for background check, though the AGLC will refund any amount that is not used.
Applicants are also responsible for obtaining municipal approval before applying, which means contacting your local municipality regarding zoning requirements, business licenses, land-use restrictions, and ensuring that the store will be at least 100 metres away from schools, health care facilities, or land designated as school reserve.
After that, you’ll still need to ensure that your store has a point-of-sale area, a secure storage area, a shipping/receiving area, an alarm system, video surveillance, and a secure product display.
It’s a number of steps to go through, but there’s a few months before legalization finally comes into effect and plenty of time to get it all figured out.
The AGLC has even supplied a handy applicant requirement checklist to go through as you make your way towards owning one of Alberta’s first cannabis retailers – don’t worry, it’s only 70 pages long!
Once you’ve got all that figured out, it’s only two to four months until you’ll receive your license. Good luck!