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Cannabis Culture Lighting Up Commercial Real Estate In Alberta

With the legalization of marijuana across Canada just around the corner, entrepreneurs and business owners are moving quickly to secure their spot in the market. From dispensaries to accessory shops, cannabis culture is positioned to create waves across the Canadian retail and commercial real estate landscapes.

So how does Alberta fare in this rush to snap up prime commercial real estate? If industry experts are to believed, the future is looking very bright indeed.

Provincial Discretion A Benefit For Alberta

While marijuana is being legalized across the country, each province will determine how to distribute the product independently. In Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, cannabis will be handled by the provinces’ respective liquor boards. In Alberta, private operators will take care of sales and the Liquor and Gaming Commission has decided not to cap the number of licenses that will be issued with the condition that no individual or corporation will be able to hold more than 15 per cent.

In a recent Global News article, the chief executive officer of National Access Cannabis Corp. claimed that when it comes to securing a retail space in Alberta, there is a serious sense of competition. Not only are the large corporations targeting top-notch locations, smaller companies have put their hat in the ring as well. The result of the vigorous race to find a space means bidding wars, price increases, and “very aggressive termination clauses.”

The Highs And The Lows

While property managers and property-management companies in Alberta should be excited at the prospect of having an influx of eager tenants, many have concerns when it comes to leasing their spaces to cannabis-related companies in part due to the stigma still associated with the product.

Whether you are coming to the table as a prospective commercial real estate purchaser or are considering leasing your property to a cannabis industry player, it is important to know where you stand. Given the rapidly changing market and the newness of it all, there is plenty of room for error.

Working with a skilled commercial real estate lawyer can help simplify the process and protect you from potential problems. From exercising due diligence to taking the time to identify issues that may arise down the road, having experienced legal support makes a difference.

From now until legalization and in the adjustment period that follows, there are bound to be bumps along the way but with a little preparation, they could be easier to weather.

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