2.2 Application Review

Retail Cannabis Store Handbook


  1. Retail cannabis store licence applications are subject to review and approval by AGLC.
  2. When reviewing applications, AGLC considers:
    1. the appropriateness of the proposed premises;
    2. the applicant’s eligibility;
    3. compliance with municipal requirements; and
    4. the expressed views of the local community.
  3. If AGLC does not support a licence application due to operational problems, operational style changes or major structural changes to the premises made by the applicant, the application will be referred to the Board for decision.
  4. If a licence expires, the licensee must stop cannabis service until a new licence is issued.

Reasons for Licence Refusal

  1. AGLC may refuse to issue a cannabis licence if the applicant, any of the applicant’s employees, any of the applicant’s associates or any person associated with the applicant fails to pass a records check (see Subsection 2.2.6).
  2. A person will fail to pass a records check if the person has:
    1. at any time been charged with or convicted of:
      1. an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada), the Excise Act (Canada), the Food and Drugs Act (Canada) or the Income Tax Act (Canada); or
      2. an offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada), other than under Section 4(1) of that Act for possession of any substance included in Schedule II to that Act, or
      3. an offence under a foreign Act or regulation that, in the Board’s opinion, is substantially similar to an offence described in Subsection 2.2.6a) i) or ii); and in the opinion of the Board, the offence is sufficiently serious that it may detract from the integrity of lawful cannabis, gaming, lottery and/or licensed liquor activities in Alberta, or a registration relating to cannabis or liquor; or
    2. within the five (5) years prior to the application date, been in prison serving a term of three (3) years or more.
  3. The  AGLC  may  refuse  to  issue  a  cannabis  licence  if  satisfied  the applicant, any of the applicant’s employees or associates, or any person or entity connected to or associated with the applicant:
    1. has not acted, or may not act, in accordance with the law, with honesty and integrity or in the public interest, based on their past conduct;
    2. would  be  a  detriment  to  the  integrity  or  lawful  conduct  of cannabis, gaming, liquor activities or provincial lotteries; or
    3. has a  background,  reputation  and/or  associations  that  may cause adverse publicity for the cannabis, gaming or liquor industry in Alberta.
  4. AGLC may refuse to issue a cannabis licence if the applicant, any of the applicant’s employees or any person associated with the applicant has contravened:
    1. the GLCA or the GLCR;
    2. a predecessor of the GLCA or the GLCR; or
    3. a condition imposed on a licence or registration issued or made under the GLCA.
  5. AGLC may also refuse to issue a cannabis licence:
    1. if the applicant is not eligible to receive the licence; and
    2. if the requirements of the GLCA, GLCR and Board policies have not been met.
  6. An application for a retail cannabis store licence will not be approved unless the primary purpose of the retail cannabis store is the sale of cannabis to the general public.


  1. First‐time applicants should contact AGLC.
  2. A licensee should first consult this handbook and then contact the AGLC when:
    1. seeking a new licence;
    2. seeking an endorsement to an existing licence;
    3. planning to renovate the premises; or
    4. planning to relocate.
  3. Licensees are sent a reminder notice six to eight weeks before their existing licence expires.
  4. The Board may take into account any of the following factors when making a decision respecting an application for a retail cannabis store:
    1. the extent and nature of opposition from community members or groups to establishment of a retail cannabis store in a particular location;
    2. the results of consultations with local authorities about the nature of the primary business of the applicant and the clientele that frequent it.
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