Cannabis/Marijuana Retail Legalities

When Will Cannabis Be Legal?

October 17, 2018 – The long insisted target of July 1, 2018 by the Trudeau government to legalize recreational cannabis/marijuana won’t be fulfilled. Chalk it up to politics. The new law won’t be in place by the proposed timeline because the Canadian Senate decided the legislation that will make recreational weed legal, requires more study and more improvements, and so ultimately, more time is necessary. The date for legalization for recreation cannabis … Cannabis Act (Bill C45) is October 17, 2018.

Canada Day Won’t Be Cannabis Day

Sharp Business Plans made a prediction in early March 2018 that cannabis would be legalized in Canada by Monday, September 17. We were off by one month! When Trudeau stated that cannabis would be legal in Canada in the “summer of 2018” we calculated our theory as such: the official start of fall is September 23, and September 17 is an entire week before the end of summer. It’s not scientific; it’s just our best guess. I think it was a good guess, but October 17 is the actual date.

Provincial Retail/Wholesale/Online Rules

Province Distributor Retail Online
BC Public – BCLDB Public + Private Public
AB Public – AGLC Private Public
SK Private Private Private
MB Public – LGCA + Private Private Private
ON Public – OCRC Private Public
QC Public – SAQ Public
NB Public – CMC Public Public
NL Public – NLLC Private Public
NS Public – NSLC Public Public
PE Public – PEILCC Public Public
YK / YT Public – YLC Public, then Private Public
NT Public – NWTLC Public Public
NU Public – NULC Public + private Public

Business Summary

If you want to get into the legal marijuana business in Canada, you can either apply as a Licensed Producer under the ACMPR, one of seven different licenses under the Cannabis Act (C45), or apply for a retail cannabis license in BC, AB, SK, MB, ON or one of the other provinces that allow retail applications. The rules for private distribution seem very unclear, even in those few provinces that seem to allow it.

The provinces that are approving online sales of cannabis or cannabis websites also require that you first must have a “regular” retail cannabis license.

Cannabis Business Plan

In most every business, you should have a business plan before starting the business. In the cannabis industry, it is almost mandatory to have a written business plan. Every province that is permitting private retail cannabis stores (dispensaries) will be allowing individual municipalities to set their own zoning rules or even allow them to ban a cannabis dispensary. So, you have to get the municipality and the local businesses and residents on your side.

One of the best ways to get people on your side is to have a business plan that demonstrates that you will be an ideal “corporate citizen.” A good business plan for a dispensary or retail cannabis store will show the procedures that you will follow and the processes that you will have in place position you as a good neighbour, bringing the right type of people into the neighbourhood and adding value to the community.

If you have any questions about cannabis private retail licensing in Canada, or Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), or the new Cannabis Act licenses, or want more information on how we can help prepare a cannabis business plan for you, call us toll-free at 1 (800) 661-9842 and contact us today for a free consultation.