Applications will soon be accepted for businesses to sell cannabis as retail vendors when marijuana becomes legal later in 2018.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) will carry out licensing, oversight and compliance functions for private cannabis retail, as well as manage the distribution of cannabis.
Applications will start to be accepted March 6, states information on the Government of Alberta website.
Alberta is the first province to start the official private licensing process, states information from Cannabis Compliance Inc.
While the AGLC is not formally capping the number of retail outlets, they are anticipating around 250 stores to be licensed in 2018.
Initially proposed to become legal on July 1, the date has been postponed to early August or September, news reports announced Feb. 16.
Municipal approval is required before the AGLC will issue a retail cannabis store licence.
Fees totaling more than $4,000 are due at the time of application and include a $400 non-refundable application fee for each store location, a $700 annual licence fee and a $3,000 initial deposit for background checks.
Updates to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabiis Regulation were updated Feb. 16 that will govern how private retail will operate, including who can own cannabis stores, where they can be located, staff requirements, safety and security requirements and other operational details.
The AGLC is committed to:
-Keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth;
-Protect public health;
-Promote safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces; and
-Limit the illegal cannabis market.
All retail cannabis licence applicants must undergo extensive mandatory background checks.
Background checks are performed on an applicant, director, shareholders and key employees to prevent criminal interests from operating, associating or having a financial interest in cannabis retail sales in Alberta.
An applicant that is or was a participant in the unlawful cannabis trade, including illegal retail or medical sales, or has criminal convictions for serious violence offences, possession for the purpose of trafficking, trafficking, manufacturing or production of a controlled drug or substance under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act will not be eligible for a retail cannabis licence.
For more information and the application process, visit the government website at gov.ab.ca.