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City of Edmonton Votes YES To Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries In Malls

The City of Edmonton voted to adjust the current municipal zoning laws early Monday February 26, 2019.

Under regulations drafted by the Government of Alberta, recreational cannabis facilities must abide by specific guidelines ensuring cannabis establishments are a set distance from specific organizations, recreational facilities, educational institutions and more.

Below you can listen to the Feb. 22, 2018 Town Hall presentation for cannabis retailers in Alberta. This recording goes through everything from personal disclosure within the application process through cafes, retailer locations, fees, employees, mobile businesses and a variety of topics.

The Big Issue With Zoning

These regulations also applied to commercial properties that are home to multiple businesses and cover large areas.

Case in point, cannabis retailers, specifically “Aurora Cannabis” seeking to open the doors within West Edmonton Mall have run into road blocks as malls are viewed as one location.

The mall’s proximity to a hospital restricted businesses from capitalizing on it’s location, even with the physical store location nearly 5 times the distance imposed by regulations. The move has pushed for the zoning distances to apply to each shop, not the property itself.

Concerns have also been raised as the mall is a family outing which children frequent.

The Change to Alberta’s Zoning Restrictions

The amendment to the zone restrictions would ensure each shop is looked upon on an individual basis, opposed to a commercial mall property as one unit. Malls take up large areas, so it makes sense to break the commercial propriety down and look at the area as individual shops.

Within each location, the cannabis retailer must be zoned specifically out of the general play areas of children, and uphold the existing retailer standards set by the Government of Alberta.

Each city has provided it’s own guide to business owners looking to open up a recreational dispensary:

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