With the start of legal non-medical cannabis sales less than one month away, Canadian entrepreneurs everywhere are looking for their way into the budding industry. And for many, cannabis retail is a very viable option.Today, we’ll be looking at setting up a cannabis retail store in Alberta while adhering to Alberta’s dispensary laws and regulations for retailers — more specifically, the physical location, store layout, and security requirements you’ll need to meet before you successfully apply for a license.
Cannabis Retail Store Location Requirements in Alberta
In Alberta, cannabis retail stores may not be located with 100 meters of any provincial healthcare facility, school, or parcel of land that’s designated as school reserve. You must meet municipal zoning and land-use requirements, and a local business license or other proof of municipal approval is required before the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) will issue a license.
While the province has set some distance requirements, you’ll need to research your particular city or municipality’s zoning code to determine where exactly you can locate a retail cannabis store. For example, in Calgary, a cannabis store may only be established in certain land-use districts, and each district has its own separation requirements from schools, emergency shelters, child care services, places of worship, and other cannabis stores.
Cannabis Retail Store Layout and Security
Once you’ve nailed down a physical location that complies with all local and provincial regulations, you’re ready to start laying out your storefront. Alberta has spelled out specific elements that your store must include, such as a cannabis point-of-sale area (in other words, your sales floor); a shipping and receiving area that is not attached to or shared with other businesses; a secure storage area; and a secure product display.
Security also plays a part in Alberta’s provincial requirements for cannabis retailers. Your store must have an alarm system as well as a video surveillance system. Depending on your situation, you may want to enhance this with a live security presence. In the U.S., cannabis retailers have often been targeted by burglars looking for easy product and cash grabs; and while you won’t necessarily have as much cash on hand as the average American cannabis retail business, your space still contains a lot of high-value inventory that’s worth protecting.
Choosing a Point of Sale System for Your Operation
You may not have thought much about it, but the right point-of-sale system can greatly enhance your customer experience and optimize your store’s operations. There are several reasons why you should invest in a cannabis-specific POS — but keeping legally compliant with all regulations and reporting requirements, easily managing your inventory, and getting detailed performance insights are a few of the major ones.
Learn more about how a cannabis POS can help you and your business by downloading our guide: 30 Questions to Ask When Buying a Cannabis POS. Get your free copy today!