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Alberta pot shops allowed to remove window coverings after spree of robberies

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Alberta’s cannabis regulator will allow pot shops to take down window coverings after a spate of robberies.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) said it has removed portions of its retail cannabis store handbook that prohibit pot products from being visible from the exterior of shops.

Read more: Albertans can now buy pot online from private companies as AGLC exits digital sales

In a letter sent to retailers Tuesday, the AGLC said the move was prompted by a “significant rise” in robberies at licensed pot retailers in recent months, in particular in Calgary.

It says use of violence and weapons has occurred in some of the robberies and the AGLC was concerned for the safety of staff, customers and responding police officers.

A photo of a Fire & Flower location in the area of Whyte Avenue and 96 Street in Edmonton. Wes Rosa/ Global News

The letter said its new policy ensures it is not inadvertently contributing to stores being targeted due to a lack of visibility and warned shops against using the change to replace window coverings with outward-facing promotions.

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High Tide Inc., which owns pot shop chain Canna Cabana, said it welcomes the policy change.

“Complying with this regulation meant that most licensed cannabis stores in the province have been forced to black out exterior window’s making them prime targets for criminal elements,” said senior vice president of corporate and public affairs Omar Khan.

“Today’s news is a win for our employees safety, and our ability to continue pushing back against illicit market operators.”

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