The City of Calgary this week began weeding through the 261 applications it has received so far for cannabis store development permits.
Brandy MacInnis, senior special projects officer with the City of Calgary’s Growth Strategies, said there has been significant interest from local business owners who would like to sell recreational cannabis in Calgary after legalization takes place on Oct. 17. In order to legally display, sell or offer sales of cannabis, retailers must have a provincial licence.
“The number of producers has continued to grow and will undoubtedly increase further as the date approaches when the production of cannabis for non-medical purposes will be legal,” a city statement said. In 2017, a Statistics Canada report indicates there were 55 licensed producers of medical cannabis across the country employing a total of 2,399 people.
Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, sets a national framework for cannabis use. However, the specific details of legalization fall under provincial jurisdiction. Alberta is expected to have more than 200 private retailers across the province.
At a press conference in Calgary on Monday, MacInnis explained the city’s evaluation process for cannabis store application permits.
“Each development permit application is reviewed on its own merit, taking into consideration any other applications that might be near by,” MacInnis said.
The City of Calgary takes into consideration the following factors:
- compliance with land-use bylaws, including various separation distances;
- the cannabis store guidelines, including avoiding an overcrowding of stores in any one neighbourhood;
- whether the location meets the separation distance requirements set out by the provincial government;
- comments received from citizens, along with the overall compatibility with the community in which the store is proposed.
Cannabis stores must not be combined with any other business, such as a convenience store, and can not be facilitated in residential or mixed-used developments.
MacInnis confirmed that the names of successful applicants will be released to the media this week.
Kristen Spruit is a Calgary-based Troy Media business reporter.