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Real estate transactions and the burgeoning pot industry

On the eve of legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, landlords of retail space are preparing for an onslaught of potential business. Commercial real estate transactions in Alberta are expected to go through the roof as entrepreneurs prepare for the sale of cannabis in retail spaces. Despite the rules surrounding weed sales in Alberta not being defined as of yet (although it has been decided that the private sector in the province will be overseeing over-the-counter sales), some people are securing retail space without knowing if they'll even get permits to sell the herb.

A retail expert says he is getting about three inquiries every week regarding the likelihood of selling pot on the open market. He says there is a huge demand for retail locations, particularly in Northern Alberta. Retail landlords have the potential of lining their coffers by filling up vacant spaces with pot retailers. In some instances, these spaces have been sitting vacant for a long time. 

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) will be granting 250 licences to stores selling pot during the first year of legalization. Sellers will need to undergo training and background checks. This new, legal industry will find prospective business owners in a battle for retail space, which will likely drive prices up.

During a time some major retailers have been downsizing, this good news for retail landlords. New retail ventures in Alberta can come with complex legal issues that might be helped with legal guidance. A lawyer who is experienced in real estate transactions may be able to offer invaluable advice to his or her client during all phases of the transaction.

Source:, "'Massive demand' for space from marijuana retailers: AY", Danny Kuchansky, Feb. 20, 2018

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