Province lifts limits on cannabis store ownership

Alberta’s limit on cannabis shop ownership to 15 per cent of the province’s total number of stores is going up in smoke.

On Nov. 1, the cap imposed by the former NDP government, which also set a maximum number of outlets owned by a single entity at 37, will disappear.

Two years into recreational marijuana legalization, the fledgling market is mature and stable enough to allow a move to reduce bureaucracy and enhance competition, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) said in an email.

“Removing the ownership cap is part of government’s red-tape reduction strategy aimed at creating new opportunities for businesses in Alberta and removing unnecessary regulatory barriers,” it said.


Alberta cannabis growers push for winery-type sampling tours

Kieley Beaudry would love patrons to tour her licensed indoor pot patch, sample its produce and purchase their favourite buzz on their way out.

If wineries and breweries can do it, she says, Alberta’s legal cannabis producers should have the same right.

It’s something the sector has been lobbying for, particularly since Ontario and B.C. have begun moving towards the so-called farm to table model, with the latter province aiming at 2022 for small-scale producers.

“I want Alberta to beat B.C. to it,” said Beaudry, who operates Parkland Flower, a micro-grow in Acheson, west of Edmonton.

“It would help build such a vibrant, beautiful industry.”


Once a bane of pot growers, aerial surveillance now a B.C. cannabis crop ally

Where aircraft once rooted out marijuana gardens in a province famous for B.C. bud, they’re now shielding them while ensuring better harvests.

That’s especially true in the skies above a seven-hectare emerald expanse of legal cannabis now being harvested in a slice of southern B.C. popular with Alberta vacationers

Four times a day, a drone equipped with thermal imaging to gauge the health of 25,000 individually-potted plants takes to the skies over Christina Lake Cannabis’ (CLC’s) outdoor operation, sandwiched between timbered hills near the company’s namesake water body.


Shoppers Drug Mart to begin selling new medicinal cannabis products

People searching for new medicinal cannabis products will likely be able to find what they need on a well-known Canadian drug store's website.

Shoppers Drug Mart will partner with Alberta-based Atlas Biotechnologies to provide smoke free, fast-acting products for patients across Canada.

Sheldon Croome, president and CEO of Atlas, says the products are tailored towards the over 50 baby boomer generation and also seniors who want safe, easy and consistent dosages. 

“Topical creams, transdermal patches similar to a nicotine patch, inhalers…capsules which is a fast acting edible pill, where in just 15 minutes the patient can see the onset and effects of the cannabis treatment.”


Calgary hemp processors, Hutterites trail blaze with 'potent' CBD

When Andrew Potter’s Calgary-based cannabis processing outfit wanted to go where none had before, Hutterite help seemed a natural fit.

“We needed growers who are low-cost and have big kind of (production) positions,” said Blue Sky Hemp Venture’s CEO Potter.

“Hutterite colonies ticked all the boxes in being sustainable and low-cost.”

That’s led to five Saskatchewan colonies this year harvesting most of Blue Sky’s total of 970 hectares of hemp — a cousin of the marijuana plant that contains almost none of its buzz-inducing THC content.


Alberta legal cannabis sales to exceed half billion dollars this year: analyst

Sales of legal cannabis in Alberta should climb to $540 million this year on monthly revenues that have more than doubled since 2019, says an industry analyst.

But with Alberta reaching a retail saturation point with nearly half the pot stores in the country, those numbers aren’t expected to increase much more in the foreseeable future, said Het Shah, Calgary-based managing director of Cannabis Benchmarks.

And they’re not expected to significantly reduce the provincial government’s forecast of continued red ink on the cannabis side of its taxation ledger.


Put a recycling deposit on cannabis containers, bottle depot association urges AGLC

For most recyclable containers purchased in Alberta, you also pay a small deposit which is then returned when the bottles or cans are dropped off for recycling.

A variety of containers can be dropped off at bottle depots for refunds — except for those used to store cannabis.

Now, the agency that governs bottle depots in the province wants to welcome cannabis containers into the deposit return system, saying the move could divert plastic from landfills and stabilize declines in depot income.

"Depots are ready to accept the product," said Jerry Roczkowsky of the Alberta Bottle Depot Association (ABDA). "It's a matter of working with the manufacturers to get the system in place."


Cannabis still in demand as 7 new stores set to open in Calgary

Canopy Growth Corp. has begun opening several of its 10 new locations in Alberta, with seven of those in Calgary. 

The Ontario-based company says Tokyo Smoke and Tweed will be the names of its Alberta stores.

“We feel it is the right time to come into the market,” said Margo Mulitsa, district manager for Alberta. 

“We are thrilled to bring that experience to our guests, and be a part of this market.”

The Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Commission says there are 516 licensed retailers province-wide with 126 of those located in Calgary. 

“There is no cap or limit on the number of stores that can operate in Alberta at this time; the market will essentially dictate that,” said spokesperson Heather Holmen. 


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