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Legal cannabis to heat up Alberta commercial real estate sector

Officials in Calgary have already approved two shops in two different malls that will be selling legal cannabis -- that is two out of 83 applications for these areas alone. Alberta's commercial real estate sector stands to profit from the October legalization of recreational marijuana with retail stores all set to open shop in a variety of commercial locations, from malls to store front locations. Alberta's total cannabis store applications are approaching the 700 mark.

With the new-found interest in commercial real estate, come some pluses for landlords, including the fact that rates have doubled. Lessees are willing to pay prime rates for places they believe would be ideal to showcase their cannabis products. And because cannabis still has some public stigma attached to it, landlords are using that as fuel to hike lease rates.

Even so, malls that are leasing to those who will be opening cannabis shops are making sure lease agreements come with stringent rules. Those opening up shop in malls are likely to be bigger players in the game rather than small-time sellers. In any case, approved applications must go through an appeals period of three weeks and require the stamp of approval from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

With Alberta's commercial real estate sector continuing to be so vibrant, a lawyer may be able to help both owners and tenants with the legal aspects of commercial business endeavours. There are many things to consider such as leasing, contractual obligations and how the law will pertain to these new cannabis rules and stores. Getting the advice of a lawyer when it comes to the often complex laws that drive real estate may help an entrepreneurial or investor client to stay on the road to success.

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