Since becoming legal five years ago, Alberta’s cannabis market has grown exponentially. To better support businesses and protect Albertans, Alberta’s government is reviewing the market to determine what’s working, what needs to be improved and what’s redundant.
On January 31, 2024, the following improvements to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation will come into force:
- Licensed cannabis retailers can operate temporary sales locations at adults-only events like trade shows and festivals.
- Cannabis retailers can keep their products in locked display cases when the store is closed rather than moving everything into a secured storage room at the close of every business day.
- Restrictions are removed on sales and transfers between cannabis retailers and to further allow Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis to establish resale markup limits.
“We’ve been looking at the cannabis market to determine what’s working, what needs to be improved and what’s redundant or unnecessary, while protecting public health and safety. These changes are the result of our latest work to help curb the illegal cannabis industry and continue providing choices Albertans can trust.”
"I am thrilled with these common-sense changes such as allowing cannabis retailers to operate temporary sales locations for adults at festivals and trade shows. The removal of unnecessary red tape for the cannabis industry will safeguard the tens of thousands of jobs that have been created since legalization."
“The regulatory updates are a significant stride towards enhancing stability and reducing red tape for cannabis retailers while maintaining a commitment to public safety. The improvements enable more effective inventory management, increased promotional opportunities, and continued migration from the illicit market to better support the entire retail network.”
All restrictions around consumption and prohibiting access for youth will remain the same. These regulation updates only change how and where retailers can operate.
The regulation changes will reduce barriers and costs for legal cannabis retailers to better combat the illegal market by increasing the competitive advantage of legal retailers. Additionally, businesses will save time and money by providing more flexibility in managing merchandise in stock.
Other policy changes made by the government and Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis for the cannabis industry in the past year include:
- Removing restrictions for retail cannabis store signage to allow for more flexibility in store names.
- Simplifying the steps required for age verification for online licensed cannabis websites that more closely align with those in other provinces.
- Reducing listing fees for licensed producers by 83 per cent and shipping fees for retailers by 11 per cent.
- Providing cannabis retailers with the option to open for business at 9 a.m.
- Authorizing licensed producers (or their registered cannabis representatives) to give cannabis samples to retail cannabis store licensees to promote products and increase product knowledge.
- Enabling Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis to supply sales data free of charge.