Dispensaries and Retail
We provide the strategic planning and application support for
successful licensing of cannabis retail stores.
For retail sales, distribution and retail sale of recreational cannabis is within the discretion of the provinces and territories. Some provinces and territories, such as B.C. and Alberta, made space for the “dispensary” model, in which cannabis stores may be operated privately by companies and individuals (subject to licensing, of course). Retail storefronts may sell recreational product only, while medical cannabis will continue to be distributed by the mail system in place under the ACMPR. The term “dispensary” may fall by the wayside, as various governments are prohibiting use of this term for recreational cannabis stores, since it implies a medical use.
What all of this means is the creation of thousands (if not many thousands) of new cannabis retail businesses starting in the next few years. In regions where private distribution is permitted, the application process is open to any person or company wanting to make an application. Each government reserves the discretion to decide on a case-by-case basis who will be issued licenses to operate cannabis retail stores, so an application demonstrating sound knowledge of the regulations set by the government of interest is paramount.
Provincial and territorial requirements for cannabis retail store applications differ, but every successful applicant must demonstrate to the government that they are capable of running a cannabis store in a way that minimizes risk of cannabis diversion to the black market and ensures the products sold to consumers are of high quality. Store security, cannabis storage, product tracking, and cannabis advertising requirements are all defined by either provincial/territorial or federal legislation. Each government accepting applications for cannabis retail stores typically requires an applicant provide highly specific plans for security, store layout, and cannabis storage, at minimum, as part of their application for a license. Criminal record checks are common, and some provinces have capped the amount of stores that may be run by any one entity.
The application process for recreational marijuana stores in many provinces/territories is open now with the federal government eyeing an August 2018 legalization date. CCI offers retail consulting packages in all provinces and territories that allow private distribution to ensure compliance and preventative measures are in place. Working with a specialty firm like ours maximizes our clients’ chances of successful applications for cannabis retail store licenses.