Alberta to re-evaluate product display rules to combat cannabis store robberies

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Window coverings are the "biggest issue that we have," says Calgary Police Service

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is looking at ways to combat thefts and crimes in the province’s 700+ licensed dispensaries.

While the window coverings are not mandatory, products cannot be visible to youth from outside storefronts.


Sgt. Nick Wilsher of the Calgary Police Service told CBC that the window coverings are “the biggest issue that we have,” adding that 29 cannabis shops were robbed last year, and 10 have been targeted so far in 2022.

In a statement to CBC, Rob Pape, the director of compliance for the AGLC, said the agency is “looking at that situation right now and considering our options.”

In March 2020, Fire and Flower announced it had removed the window coverings from three of its Edmonton locations and was instituting a store-by-store review.

The move was prompted after a robbery at one of its Alberta locations.

“We will be removing window coverings where product cannot be seen from the outside, where new merchandising can be utilized to make sure product cannot be seen by youth, and to create a more inviting and safe environment for our staff and customers,” Nathan Mison posted to LinkedIn. At the time, Mison was the company’s president of government, media and stakeholder relations.

Mison added that the company worked with provincial regulators ahead of the move.

“This is an important step. We are the legal operators. We should not be afraid to show off our stores. We take great efforts to create inviting environments to learn about legal cannabis. We will operate under the rules, once clearly outlined,” he wrote, adding that “policies that don’t make sense, need to be pushed back against.”

In June 2020, the B.C. government removed the requirement that cannabis retail stores be enclosed by non-transparent walls. Cannabis products are still needed to be kept out of sight of passersby, however.

“These changes will help employees feel safer while at work and ensure cannabis workers will be thoroughly trained to be safe, smart and socially responsible in their jobs,” David Eby, attorney general, said in a statement.

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