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You will need a development permit, a building permit (if you plan to do any interior or exterior construction to your retail space), and a business licence before an Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) Commission retail cannabis store licence will be issued to you. The City of Edmonton will begin accepting additional development permit applications for cannabis retail sales by email on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Tuesday August 28, 2018 at 8am.

How to Submit Your Application

Zoning Regulations

The amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800 to permit cannabis retail sales were approved by City of Edmonton Council on June 12, 2018. The amendments added Cannabis Retail Sales as a permitted use to 13 zones and added separation distances for cannabis stores, along with other regulations, to Section 70 of the Zoning Bylaw.

Refer to Zoning Bylaw 12800 to check which zones allow cannabis stores and to review the applicable regulations.

You can review a property’s zoning through maps.edmonton.ca. If you are interested in rezoning a property to permit cannabis retail use, please visit the City of Edmonton’s Rezoning webpage for more information about the process, timelines, and application requirements.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Cannabis Guidelines

Edmonton Fire Rescue Service is providing this Cannabis Guidelines to applicants interested in opening a Cannabis Retail Store, Cannabis Cultivation Facility, or Cannabis Processing Facility to help them understand Alberta Fire Code requirements and best practices for these types of businesses. 

Building Permit Requirements
Commercial Final Permit Requirements
Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission Requirements

In addition to City of Edmonton approvals, you are also required to obtain an Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) retail cannabis store licence.

For more information, visit the AGLC cannabis website, their applying for a licence page, or review their handbook.

Applying for a Development Permit

To submit a complete development permit application package for cannabis retail sales, send it by email to cannabisdevelopmentpermit@edmonton.ca with the subject line “cannabis retail sales development permit application - <insert cannabis retail store’s address>”. Other requirements for submission include:

  1. Only one development permit application can be submitted per email. Multiple applications in one email will not be accepted. 
  2. Your application package should be attached to the email in PDF format only. It can be one file or multiple files.
  3. Your order in the review process will only be determined once your application has been deemed complete by the development officer, in accordance with the Zoning Bylaw. If your application is incomplete, it will not be considered in any order for review until the missing information is provided.
  4. If your proposed location is approved for cannabis retail sales through a rezoning application, your development permit application will only be accepted starting the day after Council approves the rezoning.
  5. The City of Edmonton assumes no responsibility or liability for email transmission failure or any other technical issue.
     

Applying for a Building Permit

A complete building permit application package can be submitted:

Development Services
2nd Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111-104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 0J4

Applying for a Business Licence

A complete business licence application package can be submitted:

Development Services
2nd Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111-104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 0J4

Payment Options

The City of Edmonton accepts a variety of payment options for your permits and licence application fees:

  • Certified cheques (fastest and preferred method of payment)
  • Personal or corporate cheques
  • Bank draft
  • Cash
  • Interac Debit payments
  • Electronic Fund Transfer (for amounts more than $5000)

Please include your City File Number with your payment, which can be made in-person at the Edmonton Service Centre or sent by mail to:

Edmonton Service Centre
City of Edmonton
2nd Floor, 10111 104 Ave NW
Edmonton AB T5J 0J4

Cancellation and/or Refund Requests

If you want to cancel your development permit application and/or request a refund for any reason, submit a completed Cancellation and/or Refund Request Form to the City of Edmonton. 

No refunds will be granted for development permit applications if technical review has commenced or if a decision has been made. Where the technical review has not commenced, $108, or 20% of the development permit fee, whichever is greater, will be retained for administration costs. 

No refunds will be granted if the applicant requests the City of Edmonton to deem the development permit application a refusal. 

Refunds for Building Permits will only be considered if this is applied for within 90 days of the permit being issued and if no construction has occurred. A sum of $108, or 20% of the permit fee, whichever is greater, will be retained for administration costs.

Business Licence application fees are non-refundable.

After Your Development Permit is Issued

When cannabis legalization occurred, development permits were issued with a condition requiring the store to be established or begin operations within nine months of the permit being issued, as required by Section 70.6 and 70.7 of the Zoning Bylaw. This ensured that cannabis retail stores only opened after legalization came into effect and that permit holders intended to develop their retail locations within a reasonable period of time.

The City committed to removing this requirement once federal legalization occurred. On February 25, 2019, City Council approved changes to Section 70 of the Zoning Bylaw to vary the Government of Alberta regulations on separation distances and to remove Section 70.6 and 70.7 from the Zoning Bylaw. These changes came into effect February 26, 2019. All future development permits for cannabis retail will no longer be subject to the nine-month condition.

For existing permit holders and applicants, the City would like to clarify the options available to permit holders as their development permits approach the nine-month expiry date. These options take into account the current suspension of new cannabis retail licences issued by the Alberta Liquor Gaming Cannabis (AGLC).

Option 1 - Proceed with opening the store

If permit holders intends to open a retail store to sell cannabis accessories while waiting for an AGLC licence to be issued, they must obtain the necessary building and trades permits and business licence. They must pass the required City inspections and be selling cannabis accessories prior to the date that the development permit could expire. The location would then be deemed to have “commenced”, considered to have satisfied the development permit condition, and the development permit will not be expired. They will continue to not be able to sell cannabis products until an AGLC licence has been issued to that retail location.

Option 2 - Apply for a new Class A Development Permit

If your development permit was approved without variances, you may apply for a new development permit to “continue to operate a cannabis retail sales location” as of February 27, 2019 for one time only without a fee. The newly issued development permit would not include the nine-month condition, and expiration would instead be subject to Section 22.2 to 22.6 of the Zoning Bylaw.

Option 3 - Apply for a new Class B Development Permit

If your development permit was approved with variances, you may apply for a new development permit to “continue to operate a cannabis retail sales location” as of February 27, 2019 for one time only without a fee. If this application is approved, the development permit would be issued with the same variances (if required) and would be subject to the standard notification and appeal period. If the notice period ends without an appeal, then the newly issued development permit would not include the nine-month condition, and expiration would instead be subject to Section 22.2 to 22.6 of the Zoning Bylaw. 

Option 4 - Development Permit decision through the SDAB

If your development permit was refused by the City but approved by the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board with the same nine-month condition, you may apply for a new development permit to “continue to operate a cannabis retail sales location” starting February 27, 2019 for one time only without a fee. The development permit application will be reviewed against the regulations of the Zoning Bylaw. It is likely that if the original application was refused than any subsequent application will also be refused by the Development Officer. In these cases, you will have the opportunity to appeal these decisions to the Subdivision Development and Appeal Board. 

It is important to note that Subdivision and Development Appeal Board decisions are made based on the individual merits of each application. The newly-approved Zoning Bylaw amendments clarify that the City expressly varies the Government of Alberta regulations on separation distances, which could result in changes to the Board’s ability to approve a development permit that was previously successfully appealed.

Applying for a new development permit to “continue to operate” (For Options 2 to 4)

For Options 2 to 4, in order to submit a development permit application to "continue to operate a cannabis retail sales location”, you MUST

  1. Submit your application prior to the original development permit’s nine-month expiry date.
  2. Submit your application to cannabisdevelopmentpermit@edmonton.ca.
  3. Submit a complete development application form as a “Change of Use” with the following description, “To continue to operate a Cannabis Retail Sales store at this location,” and provide reference to your existing development permit number. Indicate on the application that there are no proposed changes to the previously approved plans. 
  4. Provide a letter of authorization from the landowner to proceed with this development permit application.

As these specific development permit applications are accepted, these will be reviewed in order based on the earliest expiry date of the original permit. Any new development permit application that could potentially conflict with the original permits cannot be deemed complete or reviewed until the status of the original permits have been determined.

If you propose changes in the newly submitted development permit application, then a new and full application (with the required plans) must be submitted, all fees apply, and your application will be considered and reviewed as a new cannabis retail development permit application.

Option 5 - Expiry of your Development Permit

If the nine-month date of your development permit is reached and you, the permit holder, have not taken any action, then your development permit will expire. To re-apply, you will need to submit a new and full application (as described in the "How to Submit Your Application" section), and pay the standard fees. Your application will be considered and reviewed as a new cannabis retail development permit application.

The expiry for any new development permits for cannabis retail locations will be subject to Section 22.2 to 22.6 of the Zoning Bylaw.

Development Compliance staff will also educate, investigate and when necessary, enforce on any other cannabis retail sales regulations of the Zoning Bylaw. Inquiries or complaints can be directed to the team through 311 or developmentcompliance@edmonton.ca.

City of Edmonton Business Licence Conditions for Cannabis Retail Sales

If you are issued a City of Edmonton cannabis retail sales business licence, you must follow these conditions:

  1. Hours of operation can only be between 10am and 11pm, Monday through Sunday
  2. The business operator must demand proof of age from anyone who appears to be under 40 years of age. 
  3. The business operator must prevent minors (any person under the age of 18) from entering the business premises and/or from purchasing cannabis.
  4. Business operators cannot sell or display cannabis until they have obtained an AGLC retail cannabis store licence.
  5. Business operators cannot sell or display cannabis until federal law has legalized recreational consumption and sale of cannabis.
  6. If federal or provincial approval for a cannabis-related business is cancelled or expires, the business licence is deemed to be immediately cancelled without prior notice to the business operator.
  7. If a business operator’s provincial or federal approval for a cannabis-related business is suspended at any time during the term of a business licence, then the business licence is immediately suspended without notice or right of appeal and remains suspended until the suspension is lifted by the provincial or federal government.
     

For More Information

Telephone

311

Email cannabislegalization@edmonton.ca

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