Retail cannabis applications have opened in Alberta, Canada and the provincial Gaming and Liquor Commission expects to receive about 250 applications for the businesses over the next year, the Edmonton Journal reports. There is no cap on the number of retail licenses the agency will approve; however, no single person or entity can hold more than 15 percent of the province’s licenses.

According to AGLC spokeswoman Michelle Hynes-Dawson, application approvals will take anywhere from two to four months depending “on the complexity” of the application and “the ownership structure.” Applicants must also undergo a background check. Applicants with prior cannabis convictions and other drug-related or violent offenses will not be awarded a license.

“Background checks are performed on an applicant, director, shareholders and key employees to prevent criminal interests from operating, associating or having a financial interest in cannabis retail sales in Alberta.” – the AGLC in the application announcement

According to the report, the agency has seen just a few applications for St. Albert, a “handful” for Calgary, and “virtually zero” for rural areas. Application fees run $400, along with a $3,000 due diligence deposit and a $700 annual license renewal fee.

Federal legalization of cannabis in Canada is expected this summer.

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