Pot sales permits in Edmonton up to lottery draw
City councillors agree to random selection to decide who can sell cannabis
Cannabis retailers hoping to set up shop in Edmonton will have to bank on the luck of the draw.
The city's urban planning committee voted in favour of a lottery system Tuesday to choose who will get a development permit to sell pot.
Councillors Michael Walters said the random selection process puts small and big companies on the same playing field.
"What we're trying to do is create a sense of fairness," Walters said after the decision. "There's a lot of interest in setting up cannabis business in Edmonton, from a variety of proponents from a variety of capacities."
City administration said the random selection process should deal with an estimated 200 applications.
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Fire & Flower had asked councillors to give priority to companies that have already made significant investments in sites and have submitted provincial applications.
"It doesn't diminish our commitment to Edmonton and having our headquarters here," Fencott said. "We're pioneers in a new space and we were prepared for that coming in, and our investors are prepared for that as well."
Fencott sees it as a long-term investment, since the company has more than 30 applications with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to operate stores around the province.
"We'll see what the lottery process does."
"Rather than someone going in and getting 25 locations, this way it's drawn one by one, so just more people have a chance to open a store."
Gunderson said she's "in the process of" applying through the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission and needs to get the site rezoned to fit the cannabis bylaw.
"It's been difficult because the corporations have scooped up all of the places in Edmonton, so all of the eligible places aren't zoned for it."
The city will accept expressions of interest from May 22 to June 12, and said it will start awarding development permits after June 20.