Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
COVID-19 has delivered a hard hit to many different types of businesses across Alberta and, indeed, the country. Would revising the rules governing cannabis retail in the province offer businesses a cushion and smoother transition to the new normal?
That’s what Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is looking to find out with the release of a new survey this week. The short survey asks retail businesses about two things: should private-sector cannabis retailers be allowed to sell marijuana online and should they be permitted to sell non-cannabis items, such as clothing.
Either of those changes — or both — would require amending the provincial Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act (GLCA). As it stands, Alberta Cannabis is the “only legal, non-medical online cannabis store” in the province.
In Quebec, the law forbids the sale of any non-cannabis products — from T-shirts to mugs — if they have a weed image. After a lawsuit was filed in Quebec, The Canadian Press reported in April that a judge will now need to determine if provincial rules are too restrictive.
Back in Alberta, the AGLC suggests the feedback received on certain cannabis policies could help “ensure licensees have the opportunities necessary to support their businesses.”
Specifically, the survey asks if the GLCA should be amended to allow retail cannabis licensees to obtain an endorsement on their licence to sell cannabis online and if changes are needed to permit non-cannabis items (apparel, for example) to be sold by cannabis retailers.
Feedback on the anonymous survey can be provided until June 30.