Cannabis licences put on hold until legalization

By Ashley Wiebe
May 8, 2018 - 4:11pm Updated: May 8, 2018 - 7:15pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB — The federal government continues to push ahead with cannabis legalization and the province is making sure they don’t fall behind.

Applications for cannabis retail licences are already being accepted by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission while municipalities determine where marijuana can be sold within city limits.

While the AGLC has had plenty of interest, no one has been given the green light yet.

Chara Goodings, with the AGLC said the process itself can take between two and four months.

She adds true approval won’t be granted until marijuana is legalized.

The AGLC has received more than 480 applications for retail licences, five of which have been submitted from Medicine Hat.

Currently there’s only one listed on their website, which is updated weekly.

The address for the application is for 328 South Railway Street.

Goodings wasn’t able to say what has been the outcome with the other four applications, due to privacy. It’s unclear if they have been approved or withdrawn.

Goodings said even if a licence is approved by the AGLC, it’s ultimately up to each municipality to grant a business licence.

“Many municipalities haven’t quite figured out their bylaws yet and how they’re actually going to handle cannabis so until they’ve done that, licences will be on hold and, of course, everything will be on hold until cannabis is actually legalized,” she said, over the phone from St. Albert.

Mayor Ted Clugston said he knows people are talking about cannabis and that they’re excited, trying to get ahead of the curve with their own business plans.

He said staff are still in the planning stages, figuring out where cannabis can be sold and where it can’t, based on the city survey from earlier this year.

“I have seen the overlay as to what are the recommended sites that it can be sold in, in Medicine Hat and you will see that very, very soon,” he said, following the council meeting Monday night. “Of course, council will have final say on that, but there’s a recommendation from staff and I would call the recommendation from staff that I’ve seen fairly liberal. And I don’t mean by the Liberal government.”

Clugston believes there will be plenty of opportunity to sell cannabis here in Medicine Hat, unless council decides otherwise.

To see a copy of the Pending Cannabis Licence Applications, click here.

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