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Cannabis retailers able to acquire more than one business licence

Cannabis retailers in Grande Prairie will now be able to operate with more than one business licence for their brand. City of Grande Prairie Council amended the business licence bylaw on Monday, something which had been requested by businesses in the cannabis industry.

Mayor Bill Given says now that the cannabis retail industry has had time to develop itself in the city, the previous limit was indicated to be more of a hindrance to businesses.

“We had this requirement with the idea that maybe it would support the development of more local entrepreneurs,” he says. “We have heard more recently from members of the same industry that it’s more of a hassle and really hasn’t served the purpose that industry thought that it might have right up front.”

Given adds the restriction came about originally was because council at the time were looking to bring in the first regulations surrounding the new industry. Smaller members of the industry had wished to support local businesses as opposed to, at the time, risking a monopoly from larger competitors.

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“It was a completely new legal market. Nobody was exactly sure how it was going to develop and mature over time and I think as we see the market mature I think it’s likely we may see some consolidation with smaller players being bought out by larger players,” says Given.

“We’ve also seen some relatively strong home-grown businesses really doing very well so I think this is a demonstration of how everybody was doing the best that they could in a complex environment with the information that they had at the start.”

Given says he believes it speaks highly of industry and the city of Grande Prairie in that as the needs for regulations change, the city will adapt to those adjustments.

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