Alberta finally, officially makes sale of retailer-branded apparel legal

| David Brown

Starting in September, cannabis stores in Alberta will be able to sell up to 15% of their inventory as cannabis apparel and accessories.

While online sales began earlier this year, changes relating to non-cannabis products were not yet in place. The change comes into effect on September 1, according to an internal guidance document shared with StratCann.

The updated policy for cannabis-prescribed things includes items like retailer-branded t-shirts, hats and other apparel, retailer-branded items, including things such as insulated mugs or water bottles, cannabis-themed magazines, books and recipes; as well as items used to grow legal personal cannabis such as plant pots and gardening tools.

The change is the final piece of regulatory changes that were part of Alberta’s Bill 80, the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021, and included language that would dismantle the AGLC’s own online cannabis sales platform, allowing private retailers to fill this role instead and to carry additional cannabis-related items like branded apparel.

The change will remove section 4.3.1 from the AGLC’s Retail Cannabis Store Handbook which currently only allows for cannabis or cannabis accessories to be sold in a cannabis store.

It then replaces that section with the allowances for apparel, licensee-branded items, and items used to grow cannabis. It also includes language to specifically allow cannabis stores to also carry products like rolling papers, pipes, and bongs, as well as rolling trays, grinders, ashtrays, lighters, and matches. However, these items were not explicitly disallowed prior. 

Retailers StratCann spoke with off record said they have been carrying all of these types of items for some time, and have not faced enforcement for it.