Alberta makes changes to retail secure storage, “simulated or actual mixing” of cannabis, and more

| David Brown

New cannabis stores in Alberta may have a chance to save money on their secure storage rooms after recently announced regulatory changes from the AGLC.

The changes were part of a handful announced by Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis on May 10. Retailers can also now use samples from producers in sensory containers in-store, along with changes to record-keeping for such sensory displays. The AGLC also removed a section of their provincial rules that had previously prohibited the “simulated act of mixing cannabis” in retail stores.

This last piece is a reference to a section from the provincial retail cannabis handbook that had previously prohibited the “simulated or actual mixing, application or consumption of cannabis with other ingredients or substances.”

A request from clarification was made to the AGLC on May 13. No reply was available as of press time.

The section this was removed from concerns what kinds of activities are permitted in cannabis stores. Previously, there were more restrictions on what types of activities can occur within a cannabis store other than the sale of cannabis. 

A source close to the issue explained to StratCann that while a store still can not be used for activities not related to cannabis (for example, hosting an art show or a yoga class), events or activities that are directly related to cannabis can now occur within the store. The section that had previously prohibited a cost being charged to the public, directly or indirectly, to attend an activity in a retail cannabis store was also removed as part of this recent set of changes. 

Most of the changes are just cleaning up aspects of the retail cannabis handbook but include the announcement that AGLC may now approve alternative construction methods to secure cannabis rooms.

As of January 2024, the AGLC no longer requires retailers to keep their products in locked display cases when the store is closed, however, these new changes can still mean significant savings for any future stores seeking to create a secure storage area. 

“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,” said Dale Nally, Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction at the time those initial changes came into force on January 31.

Nally has been one of the provincial government’s key voices on regulatory change for the cannabis industry through the Red Tape Reduction Act. Nally and other ministers and Alberta MLAs were also part of a recent provincial cannabis industry lobbying day on May 9 in Edmonton, put together by an Alberta-based consulting firm that works in the cannabis space. 

Alberta has led the country on several recent cannabis regulatory changes. In addition, in 2022, the province removed the requirement for window coverings for cannabis retailers and in 2023, Alberta began allowing producers to hand out samples at cannabis events

The AGLC also announced in late 2023 that the agency had reduced the SKU listing fee for cannabis producers. Previously $1,500, the reduced cost to list a new SKU to sell into the Alberta market is now $250.

Featured image via Spiritleaf

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