The Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission has finalized contracts and agreements for distribution and warehousing with licensed marijuana producers.
The commission selected 13 federally licensed producers from 31 companies that responded to the “expression of interest” that closed in February:
- 7 Acres/The Supreme Cannabis Company
- ABCann Global
- Aphria Inc.
- Canopy Growth
- Emblem Cannabis
- Maricann Group Inc.
- MedReleaf Corp.
- Starseed Medicinal Inc.
- UP Cannabis Inc.
- Weed MD
All but two of the 13 marijuana companies chosen are based in Ontario, including Aphria Inc., the Tragically Hip-backed UP Cannabis Inc., and EMblem Cannabis.
“We think the Alberta market is going to represent a great opportunity for Emblem moving forward in the adult-use space and we’re thrilled to be identified as one of the 13,” Emblem president & CEO Nick Dean said.
Dean said his company already has in place product innovation, manufacturing facilities and logistics.
“We’re thrilled to be in Alberta. It’s currently our second largest market from a medical perspective, so we’re hopeful it’ll represent the same size in the adult-use space,” Dean said.
“We’ve got partnerships already established in Alberta. An example being Fire and Flower, who’s setting up retail distribution. So we’ve actually made an equity commitment in Fire and Flower to showcase our commitment to the province and to the market.”
Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis, which has three facilities in Alberta, is the only licensed producer based in the province. The ALGC also signed a deal with New Brunswick-based Organigram.
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The commission says it will continue to engage additional marijuana producers, specifically those based in Alberta, as they become federally licensed.
Albertans buying marijuana from the AGLC online will have it delivered by Canada Post and Purolator once it’s legal in the fall.
The commission said it’ll also use its liquor warehousing and distribution system to provide retailers with cannabis.
“The AGLC is committed to providing the Alberta market with access to federally regulated cannabis in a safe and fiscally responsible manner, while helping to shrink the illicit market,” AGLC chief operating officer and vice president Niaz Nejad said. “We are confident that those we are working with will help us fulfil our responsibilities to Albertans.”
On March 6, the AGLC launched the application process for retail cannabis stores in the province. In late April, the commission said it had received 452 applications.
There is no cap on the total number of retail licences, but no one person can hold more than 15 per cent of retail cannabis licenses in the province.
The federal government pushed back the legalization date from July 1 to Oct. 17.