Alberta Betting on Booming Marijuana Market

Article by Gillian Steward, Toronto Star

Alberta betting on booming marijuana market Unlike Ontario and Quebec, Alberta has taken free market approach. Recreational marijuana will be sold in privately owned retail stores and there could be a lot of them because at this point there is no limit on the number. Two former Alberta government cabinet ministers, including former justice minister Jonathan Denis (above) and a police chief, are part of a group that is working to promote the legal recreational marijuana industry. (JASON FRANSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

So far it looks like Alberta will be the go-to province for marijuana entrepreneurs lining up to get in on the action when selling pot becomes legal next summer.

Unlike Ontario and Quebec, Alberta has taken a free market approach. Recreational marijuana will be sold in privately owned retail stores and there could be a lot of them because at this point there is no limit on the number.

No drab stores run by liquor control boards for Alberta. And there will surely be way more stores than the 15 Quebec has designated for the entire province (Ontario is planning 40) in the first year of legalization.

Online sales in Alberta, however, will be a government-run, union-staffed enterprise. And the government will be the exclusive marijuana wholesaler.

Alberta is taking its cues from Colorado, where marijuana has been legal since 2014 and is sold in privately owned retail outlets where the ambience ranges from homey hippie to upscale minimalism.

Could Alberta become the head office capital of the marijuana industry in Canada?

Alison McMahon, CEO and founder of Cannabis at Work thinks so.

“From a business opportunity perspective, I think there is going to be a lot of attention given to Alberta from licensed producers and the cannabis market because we are seeing a lot of demand from this province,” she told CBC. Her head hunting company helps both employers and prospective employees find each other.

Read full article here.

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