Cannabis Locations in Calgary
Cannabis Locations in Calgary
On April 24th, the City of Calgary began their process for accepting development permits for cannabis storefronts. 226 applications were submitted on the first day.
The Council has also recently approved bylaw amendments that will enable future retail sales of legalized cannabis in Calgary. Although the federal government provides the laws for controlling the production, distribution, sale, and possession of Cannabis of Canada, it is the City of Calgary that is responsible for the retail locations as well as land use and zoning.
Businesses are required to have paid all fees, have the adequate building and developments permits, and possess both a municipal and provincial license. In addition, businesses must adhere to The Land Use Bylaw which regulates the distances of cannabis locations from certain establishments such as schools, hospitals, emergency shelters, and liquor stores.
One of the most crucial aspects of this process is that businesses must have already secured a lease agreement with a landlord. With most retail spaces going for roughly $50.00 a square foot, Nick Preston of Colliers International Commercial Real Estate says he’s heard of cannabis companies willing to pay up to $100.00. With lease agreements being signed for 5 or even 10-year agreements, these businesses are risking a high amount of capital with the belief that they will be approved after legislation. Additionally, because the City of Calgary has regulated how far one cannabis shop can be from another (300 metres), there is a good chance that after applications begin to be approved, there will be many companies that must either sublease their space or terminate their lease agreement. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/cannabis-shops-calgary-rent-real-estate-1.4638413
The City of Calgary has created an online public map titled “Cannabis Store Locations” used to display applications which are under review as well as their proximity to the establishments discussed above. The map can be accessed at the following link:
With over 450 applications submitted, three major neighborhoods appear to have gained the most attraction:
Surrounding 10th Street, from Memorial Drive to 4th Street, there are 8 applications currently under review, most of which the zoning already permits a cannabis location. Most of Kensington’s local businesses are in support of their possible neighbours. Chelsey Popoff, owner of Creations by Chelsey says she hopes, “the retail stores will increase foot traffic which means more walk-in business”.
The Inglewood community also has 8 applications which are under review. Most of which are not currently zoned for cannabis. With the near proximity to liquor stores in the area, Inglewood may find it more difficult to have their cannabis retail locations approved.
By far the most popular community within Calgary has been the Beltline area. With most applications surrounding 17th Ave, Calgary’s Beltline has received 35 applications or roughly 12 percent of the city’s total applications. Peter Oliver, president of the Beltlines Neighbourhoods Association stated the following:
“I think it (cannabis stores) adds to the variety of business here that make up the ecosystem. We could always use more activity here, so more businesses help, and more residents help”.
Some businesses are taking a more cautious approach while others are confident they will be approved. Second Cup, Canada’s second-largest specialty coffee retailer, announced that they have a signed an agreement with National Access Cannabis to convert some of their coffee shops into cannabis dispensaries. Toronto-based cannabis retailer, Fire & Flower, has applied for 37 locations province-wide, which is the maximum number of stores one company can have in the province. Nathan Milson, vice-president of the company says, “we 100 percent think we can get all 37”.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has set 250 as the number of available provincial licenses. Only time will tell which of 456 applications will be approved and which ones will not.
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Blog created by Jordan LeBlanc. Connect with Jordan @ jordanJLeB@hotmail.com