Alberta's Booming Cannabis Market
Alberta, Canada has unexpectedly become the leader in cannabis production and consumption in the Great White North. Known for its oil production, scenic hot spots, and the largest mall in North America, Alberta is quickly establishing itself as a hub for everything cannabis. If you’re a cannabis consumer or entrepreneur, Alberta is the place to be.
Alberta’s foray into the cannabis sphere wasn’t smooth, by any means. Alberta had previously suffered from a loss of jobs due to collapsing oil prices around the world. Their promising and burgeoning cannabis industry won’t fix everything, but it’s providing consumers and job-seekers a chance to be involved in this exciting and new field.
Cannabis Retail Shops
Alberta currently has 156 licensed retail cannabis shops where anyone over the age of 18 can go in and purchase a maximum of 30 grams of dried flower buds or its non-dried equivalent. Alberta’s cannabis retail shop count dwarfs provinces with even higher populations. According to the UN’s 2019 World Drug Report, Alberta accounted for 38 percent of the country’s recreational and medical cannabis sales, despite having only 11.6 percent of the population.
More Pot Shops Coming
Alberta put a moratorium on cannabis retail shops in November 2018 due to a cannabis shortage across Canada. Cultivators were woefully behind in delivering the cannabis they overpromised. Just recently, however, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, & Cannabis (AGLC) announced it would issue five new retail licenses weekly from its current 115+ queue. There are over 470 pending applications on top of the current queue.
How to Buy Cannabis in Alberta, Canada
If you’re considering visiting Alberta, Canada for its booming retail market, you’re not alone. You must be at least 18 years old (Alberta’s drinking age) in order to purchase weed from a recreational shop. If you’re a tourist who doesn’t live in Alberta, you can visit a legal shop, but you’re not allowed to buy pot online. You must have an address in Alberta to get a medical card and buy cannabis online.
For now, edibles, concentrates, and topicals aren’t available, but that’s all about to change. Canada’s recent rule change allows edible production across the nation, unless local jurisdictions opt-out. Expect to be able to buy cannabis-infused chocolates, capsules, and vape cartridges starting by mid-December 2019.
Burgeoning Job Market
Alberta’s booming cannabis market isn’t just great for consumers. Job seekers are turning to cannabis retail, cultivation, extraction, and other ancillary services. With 26 licensed cultivators and an expected $2 billion market by 2024 according to BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, Alberta is a cannabis professional’s paradise. In fact, Alberta is home to one of the largest producers in the country, Aurora Cannabis. Aurora is set to complete major projects and facilities to scale their operations.
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or cannabis tourist, Alberta, Canada should definitely be on your destination bucket list. Sales are through the roof and are bringing in more tax revenue than expected. Although you can’t consume openly, you’ll have plenty of retail shop options to choose from.