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Potential cannabis retailers prepping for “all out brawl”

Retailers eyeing Grande Prairie for a weed shop say they expect the market to be highly competitive. During a marathon meeting Tuesday night council voted to limit the amount of licences to just 10, with a limit of two stores per “corporate entity” for the first year.

Tia Chabot and her business partner Rae-Lynne Robichoud of Haze Inc. have gone through the AGLC application process and received approval. She says it was an intense process.

“I believe that AGLC has done a good job of ensuring that those that were granted AGLC license approval have [been] through significant hoops and background checks, which makes us all legitimate and well qualified businesses.”

Chabot says she knows of 15 licences approved by AGLC for Grande Prairie. She and Robichaud addressed council last night and raised the idea of limiting the number of licenses one person or company could own, but she wasn’t expecting a limit on the total number. Chabot says she would have liked to them to set it at 15 to stay in line with the AGLC licenses granted.

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“I thought ten was quite low and then allowing up to two I think is going to make this an all out brawl for those spots.”

Council also decided to lower the business licensing fee from a proposed $5,000 to $2,500, but held firm on the 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. business hours. Provincial regulations followed the current liquor store hours of 10 a.m. until 2 a.m.

Administration will make the adjustments and bring them back to the June 18, 2018 council meeting. If they are passed that night they city says they could begin accepting applications the next day.

Mayor Bill Given adds they may have to reconsider their intake strategy now with the decision to limit the license number.

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