Alberta’s Cannabis Industry Braces for Regulatory Overhaul as AGLC Initiates Sweeping Reforms

February 8 – Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) made significant updates to their Retail Cannabis Store Handbook and the Cannabis Representative Handbook this past week. 

Effective January 31, 2024, cannabis retailers will notice amendments to rules governing cannabis sampling, sales between retail stores, and authorizsations for selling cannabis at events. Additionally, storage protocols for cannabis products have been revised. 

These changes mark a notable shift in Alberta’s cannabis landscape, impacting how retailers operate and interact with customers. These changes signal a new era for cannabis regulation in Alberta.

One of the most significant changes introduced by the AGLC is the expansion of cannabis sampling allowances. Previously limited to products weighing 3.5 grams or less, retailers can now provide samples of larger package sizes, enhancing customers’ ability to explore a broader range of products. 

However, this newfound freedom comes with caveats, as retailers are restricted to offering each product sample at most twice per calendar year. This adjustment aims to balance promoting product exploration and ensuring responsible consumption practices within the community.

Furthermore, the amendments allow retailers to apply for a licence extension to sell cannabis at adult-only events, such as trade shows and festivals. This change could significantly expand the market reach and consumer access for cannabis retailers, providing new opportunities for sales and marketing in environments tailored to adult consumers. 

Cannabis lawyer and legal expert Harrison Jordan from Substance Law explains, ” These regulatory changes represent new challenges and opportunities within this seismic shift in Alberta’s cannabis landscape, prompting retailers to adapt their strategies and operations to navigate the evolving regulatory framework effectively.”

Lastly,  the AGLC’s reforms address the complexities of cannabis sales between licensed retailers. “By eliminating the 120-day waiting period for cannabis transfers and permitting unlimited product transfers between licensees under the same legal entity, the regulatory framework seeks to streamline inter-store transactions.” 

This change facilitates smoother inventory management and fosters collaboration and innovation within the retail cannabis sector.

  1. Please visit https://substancelaw.com/ for more information.
  2. Or, please get in touch with Joshua Uwadiae from JournoInsights at josh@journoinsights.org

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