Canadian Marijuana Retailers Scramble With Promotional Signs in Calgary

North Hill location of NewLeaf Cannabis, an Alberta-owned company which has applied for 22 licenses across Alberta.  (Image via Calgary Herald)

While the Canadian city of Calgary still has no cannabis retail regulations, marijuana retailers are hurrying up with their “coming soon” promotional signs.

One of the new retailers in Calgary is NewLeaf Cannabis.

NewLeaf Cannabis’s chief administrative officer, Angus Taylor, told the Calgary Herald said that the company has submitted 22 license applications to the province of Alberta with a focus on suburbs and not just trendy parts of town.

“Maybe we’re a bit bullish, but we’re also confident that what we’ve done in the last year is really good work and our retail strategy is a good one,” he said.

So far, Calgary’s officials say these retailers aren’t violating any cannabis retail bylaws by promoting potential storefronts since these regulations do not even exist. However, these companies could break the city’s bylaws when it comes to their signage.

“Right now, we don’t have rules for businesses to retail cannabis, so as long as they’re not retailing cannabis it would appear that there isn’t an issue from the city’s perspective,” Laurie Kimber, a planner with the city’s planning and development department, told the Calgary Herald.

Michelle Hynes-Dawson, the spokeswoman with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), described the move by these retailers as premature, since there is no guarantee if they will get their cannabis retail license.

In February, Alberta announced its rules around cannabis store operations. It made the AGLC in charge of handling licensing, compliance, and managing the distribution of cannabis to retailers.

But it is up to municipalities to decide where cannabis stores should be in terms of proximity to community services.

Under Alberta’s rules, cannabis retailers must be at least 100 metres from schools and health-care facilities. But rules are still unclear.

“It’s a risk that they’re taking,” Hynes-Dawson said.

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