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Cannabis store - business guide

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Cannabis

Cannabis Stores

Information

Due to a national cannabis shortage, AGLC had suspended cannabis store applications and retail licences. As of May 30, 2019, the moratorium has been lifted on accepting new retail cannabis licence applications and issuing new retail cannabis licences. AGLC will now issue five retail cannabis licences a week to monitor the supply of cannabis.

To assist our customers, The City has approved a Land Use Bylaw amendment extending the development permit timeline for commencement. Please speak with your file manager to learn more.

Applicants may also speak with their file manager about what would be required to operate an interim use while awaiting their AGLC license. Information about the AGLCs lifting of the moratorium is available on their website.

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Information |  Cannabis Stores

Due to a national cannabis shortage, AGLC had suspended cannabis store applications and retail licences. As of May 30, 2019, the moratorium has been lifted on accepting new retail cannabis licence applications and issuing new retail cannabis licences. AGLC will now issue five retail cannabis licences a week to monitor the supply of cannabis.

To assist our customers, The City has approved a Land Use Bylaw amendment extending the development permit timeline for commencement. Please speak with your file manager to learn more.

Applicants may also speak with their file manager about what would be required to operate an interim use while awaiting their AGLC license. Information about the AGLCs lifting of the moratorium is available on their website.


A cannabis store displays or sells cannabis, and may also offer medical
cannabis counselling. These stores may also offer cannabis-related retail sales or rentals of merchandise promoting responsible use.

Rules and regulations


A development permit, building permit and business licence are required to start a cannabis store in Calgary. All businesses selling cannabis in Alberta must also obtain a retail cannabis licence from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC). Please note The City of Calgary does not administer or process provincial applications. Business owners must obtain all AGLC and City permits and licences prior to operating a cannabis store. The order of application doesn’t matter, however the AGLC will only issue a provincial licence after the applicant receives a development permit or business licence.

All cannabis offered for sale or sold must be sourced from a federally approved and licenced cannabis facility.

We may ask detailed questions about your proposed cannabis store plans to determine if additional development permits are required for exterior signs, location of doorways, renovations etc.

Consumption

Cannabis businesses cannot allow customers to consume cannabis on site.

Land use and location

In Calgary, the store must be a single use​; it cannot be combined with another use, such as a convenience store. However, cannabis stores can reside in a multi-tenant building or as part of a mixed-use development.

All businesses in Calgary require their site to have the appropriate land use allowing for the proposed business to operate. Each space in a building has its own specified, approved use that cannot be changed without a development permit. Cannabis-related businesses can only operate within specific land uses.

Enter your desired location to determine which types of cannabis businesses may operate there. Please note that cannabis stores are not permitted in residential land use districts or beside a liquor store. Mobile cannabis stores are also not permitted.


The Land Use Bylaw requires separation distances to limit the sale of cannabis near schools, vacant school parcels, and other cannabis stores to manage potential environmental, social and aesthetic impacts; and to ensure opportunities for other businesses. Separation distances can be reduced, but for schools - only by 10%. The Cannabis Store Guidelines provide direction to The City when making decisions about reducing the separation distance.

Cannabis store locations map

Please see the table below for distance requirements between cannabis stores.

 

Parking

  • Cannabis stores must have at least four vehicle parking stalls per 100 square metres of usable floor area.
  • One bicycle parking stall is required per 250 square metres of usable floor area. The bicycle parking stall requirement is Class 2, which means the stall(s)​ can be in an unsecured or uncontrolled area. Please see Part 4, Division 2, Section 160.3 of the Land Use Bylaw for more information.

District Use
  • I-G
A cannabis facility may be located in this district.
  • C-N1
  • C-N2
  • C-C1
  • C-C2
  • C-COR1
  • C-COR2
  • C-COR3
  • C-R1
  • C-R2
  • C-R3
  • I-G*
  • I-E
  • I-C
  • CC-X
  • CC-COR
  • CR20-C20/R20
  • CC-ET
  • CC-EIR
  • CC-EMU
  • CC-EPR
  • MU-1
  • MU-2
A cannabis store may be located in this district.

* Only when in conjunction with a cannabis facility.
  • C-N1
  • C-COR1
  • C-R2
  • I-C
  • CR20-C20/R20
  • CC-EPR
  • C-N2
  • C-COR2
  • C-R3
  • CC-MHX
  • CC-ET
  • MU-1
  • C-C1
  • C-COR3
  • I-B
  • CC-X
  • CC-EIR
  • MU-2
  • C-C2
  • C-O
  • I-E
  • CC-COR
  • CC-EMU
A cannabis counselling business may be located in this district.
Direct Control District (DC) A Direct Control District MAY NOT allow for cannabis businesses. Please contact the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 for more information and to get more information on cannabis uses in Direct Control Districts.
All other districts No cannabis related businesses may be located in this land use district. A land use redesignation would be required prior to applying for permits to open any cannabis business in this location.

Consider your required approvals


Building permit

Here are some examples when a building permit may be required to open a cannabis store:

  • The space has a new use
    • e.g. a retail store changes to a restaurant
  • You’re building an overnight storage room that complies with provincial cannabis licence rules
  • Construction work includes structural or partition wall changes, mechanical, plumbing, gas or electrical work
    • e.g. changing from car detailing to engine repair affects ventilation
    • e.g. using a forklift indoors may require additional ventilation
    • e.g. there is a change in kitchen or mechanical ventilation equipment or new equipment installed
  • You are the first tenant in a space
  • There’s a change to the occupant load

Building inspections

Inspections are part of the building permit process and are included in the permit price. Inspections help ensure safety and compliance with relevant bylaws and safety codes. Through the inspection process, City of Calgary safety codes officers ensure that project work meets minimum construction safety standards.

Business licence

A City of Calgary business license is required to operate a cannabis store; please note it does not authorize the growing, producing, testing, destroying, warehousing, or distribution of cannabis.

A Cannabis Store business licence cannot be issued to a residential dwelling or any premises located in a residential land use district, and it cannot be used with a mobile business.

A municipal business licence will be issued when all required municipal approvals and fees have been obtained. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission requires either development permit approval or municipal business licence approval before issuing a provincial licence.

All Cannabis Store municipal business licences include a police information check. This process is completed by the Calgary Police Service and is initiated on the applicant’s behalf through the initial business application. Please note that previous police checks cannot be used as a substitute for this approval process.

A municipal business licence will be issued when all required municipal approvals have been granted, fees have been paid, and inspections have been completed.

Fees


​Planning approval - development permit ​Permit fee Advertising fee​ ​Total
​Cannabis Store ​$625 ​$32 ​$657

See the planning applications fee calculator for the complete list of planning application fees. A development permit may not be required when taking over an existing approved and operating Cannabis Store.​ 



​Building safety approval - building permit ​​​​ ​ ​
​Cannabis Store ​Please use the building permit fee calculator for commercial projects to estimate your fee.​​ ​ ​
See the  building permit fee schedule for a complete list of building permit application fees. A building permit may not be required when taking over an existing approved and operating Cannabis Store.



nce ​Base Licence Fee ​Fire Inspection Fee ​Police Review Fee  ​Planning Approval Fee ​Total
​Cannabis Store ​$191 ​$104 ​$40* ​$41 ​$376
See the  Business Licence Fee Schedule​ for the complete list of business licence fees. If your business requires multiple types, the highest fee will be charged. *The police review fee will increase by $30 for each additional business owner or director.


How to apply


Online

Apply now

If you need help when completing your application Chat with us, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday to Friday.

In person

Apply in person at the Planning Services Centre. To skip the line, book an appointment online.

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