The city has published a list of proposed locations for cannabis retail locations in Edmonton. Applicants include representatives with larger chains to smaller, independent businesses along Whyte Avenue.
The proposed venues are simply expressions of interest and have not been approved by the city yet. The locations were submitted by the interested operators and the order of application appointments with city officers was randomly selected.
“Locations will be approved only after an individual technical review of the development permit application for that location is undertaken and confirmed to meet the requirements of the zoning bylaw,” the city said in a news release Friday.
Scroll down to read the full list of proposed Edmonton cannabis locations.
The people on the list have been sent an email with their appointment time.
“They’ll show up, they’ll submit their permit application — which should include the application forms, some plans and their fees,” city planner Calvin Chan said.
“Once they’ve submitted that application, our development officers will go back and do a technical review and that will determine whether a location is appropriate or not and they will either issue or refuse the permit.”
The only requirement of this first step is that the suggested location is in a permitted zone.
Watch: Marijuana is set to become legal across Canada on Oct. 17. Is Edmonton ready? As Vinesh Pratap reports, the seeds of this emerging industry are quickly taking root.
“The actual application will determine whether it’s too close to a sensitive use area (i.e. school) or too close to another store,” Chan said.
He couldn’t estimate how many of the 242 proposed locations might be approved and result in a retail cannabis store, adding that will depend on the quality of the application.
“There are still steps they have to take before they can start operating and they can’t start selling product until it’s legalized after October 17.”
The proposed location list includes several applications from Kerry Rempel, vice-president of real estate acquisitions for Liquor Depot; multiple from Mark Fitton, whose company UrbanSparq Hospitality owns Knoxville’s Tavern and The Pint.
There are a number of applications from John Radostits, philanthropist and head of the Radco group of companies; two from Victor Lillo, with a corresponding address for Lillo’s Music on Whyte Avenue; and one application from Alex Russo accompanying the address of Russo Hair Design located just off Whyte Avenue.
Anecdotally, the city has seen a few local businesses in popular locations like Whyte Avenue that may be interested in switching their focus to the cannabis market.
“We didn’t look at them specifically in numbers,” Chan said. “We have identified that there are certainly existing businesses that are looking to change.”
National Access Cannabis was also listed as an applicant eight times.
Watch: A former bank on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue is being converted into a National Access Cannabis store. At the helm? A former RCMP officer. Jennifer Crosby reports.
Several of the applicants’ names and addresses were listed as “not available,” meaning they didn’t give the city permission to release that information publicly, Chan explained.
Other applicants were all about the name and certainly appeared to have the creative juices flowing with monikers like “Fire and Flower Inc,” “Alternative Greens,” “Spirit Leaf,” “Doctor Green Cannabis Corporation,” “Canna Cabana” and “Green Space Inc.”
Anyone who is interested in applying for a development permit for cannabis retail who hasn’t done so yet will get another chance.
“We anticipate that will probably happen late summer early fall and it would be just like any other development permit application where they come to the Edmonton Service Centre and apply on a first-come, first-served basis,” Chan said.
Starting Thursday, June 28, the city will post online a list of development permit applications for cannabis retail store locations.
Earlier this week the city published a job posting for a communications advisor – cannabis legalization. The posting said it was a permanent position that has funding for three years.
The job description includes public relations initiatives as well as media relations.
Watch below: Should Edmonton taxpayers be on the hook for the costs dealing with soon-to-be-legal marijuana? As Vinesh Pratap reports, some reluctant decisions were made at City Hall Tuesday.