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Cannabis store - business licensing

Before you apply

What is a cannabis store?

A cannabis store displays or sells approved cannabis products like dried leaf, oils, edibles and topicals. These stores may also offer cannabis-related retail sales or rentals of merchandise promoting responsible use.

What permits do you need?

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.

Enter your business address below to see if you can operate a cannabis business there.

What are the rules?

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

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.

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

MyID business account

If you have a myID business account, you can get a digital copy of your business licence through email.

To learn more and to sign-up, visit myID business account

Enter your business address to see if you can operate a cannabis business there.

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%. Please review the Cannabis Store Guidelines in order to determine the separation rules. This document provides direction to The City when making decisions about reducing the separation distance.

The cannabis store locations map may be used as a tool to help determine separation distances.

Please refer to the table below to determine the allowable uses for each land use district.

District Business type
  • I-G

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

cannabis store may be located in this district.

*Only when in conjunction with a cannabis facility.

Direct Control District (DC)

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.


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.

Please note: that cannabis stores are not permitted in residential land use districts. In all Districts except C-R2, C-R3 and CR20-C20/R20 districts, a cannabis store is not permitted beside a liquor store. Mobile cannabis stores are also not permitted.


  • 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.

How much will It cost?


​Planning approval - development permit ​Permit fee Advertising fee​ ​Total
Planning approval - development permit: ​Cannabis Store Permit fee: ​$594 Advertising fee: ​$30 Total: ​$624

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 ​​​​ ​ ​
Building safety approval - building permit : ​Cannabis Store undefined: ​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.

Licence Type ​Base Licence Fee ​Fire Inspection Fee ​​Planning Approval Fee ​Total
Licence Type: ​Cannabis Store Base Licence Fee: ​$172 Fire Inspection Fee: ​$104 Planning Approval Fee: ​$41 Total: ​$317

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.

How long will it take?

Timelines indicated are not a guarantee and depend on volumes, application completeness, and the applicant’s timely replies to additional information requests from the City.

Review information on timelines and the approvals process

How to prepare your application

1. Prepare the application details

You will need to know:

  • The project address
  • Who is applying (the homeowner or someone representing the owner)
  • Who will be doing the work (licenced demolition contractor)
  • What you are applying for
  • Project details

2. Prepare the required documents and plans

Specific drawing and supporting document requirements are listed on the permit checklist. You must provide all the required drawings and documents when you submit your application.


Tips for a smooth application process

Before you apply

Download the checklist and check each application requirement as you prepare to submit your application. Items listed on the checklist are the minimum requirements. We might need more information after we review your application.

Provide all required documents on the checklist, including drawings, supporting material, and any additional forms. If you are not sure if something is required, contact the Planning Services Centre

Use sample drawings to review what you need to include on your plans

Double check your documents are completed and make sure you have all required items on your plans before you upload them

After you apply

The Planning Services Centre may contact you for more information required for your application. Follow-up on requests for more information as quickly as possible. 

Use the Job Access Code (JAC) to check status updates for your application on

  • You’ll get a JAC by e-mail after you’ve submitted your application. If you did not receive a JAC number, contact the Planning Services Centre.
  • Checking your application’s status using your JAC will provide you with timely updates about the status of your application

What is a complete application?

A complete application means that you have provided all the necessary requirements for our teams to complete their reviews. You should provide everything listed on the Complete Application Requirement List and the Guide to a Complete Application (if applicable), including plans, supporting documents and payment.

An application for a permit may be refused  if, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt,  if adequate information and documentation is not supplied as requested by the Safety Codes Officer. Should a permit be considered for refusal, the applicant will be given notification in writing and 30 days to resubmit the missing information. For more information, please review Building advisory A19-002 building permit complete application.

Apply online

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

Apply in-person

Complete the application form.

Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre.

After you apply

Check the status of your permit

After you submit your application online, you will get a confirmation email with a Job Access Code (JAC).

To track your application and check its status, enter your Job Access Code in Vista.

If you need help or have questions, contact our Planning Services Centre

What inspections do you need?

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.

Planning Services Centre

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Live chat:


In person: 
Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building 
800 Macleod Trail SE

Book an eAppointment for in person services at

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