Loading articles...

New batch of Calgary entrepreneurs among first to apply for cannabis store licence


Some Calgary entrepreneurs wasted no time to start the process of running one of the city’s first cannabis retailers.

Kush Collective was among the initial businesses to apply for a licence Tuesday, the first day the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission began accepting applications.

“We definitely want to create a space for people to come in and see the product and understand the product, we want to educate customers so they know what they’re buying,” said CEO Abid Shivji. “Another important point that’s really important is in the black market some of these products may be laced with other things.”

Shivji is among four partners who were born in Calgary that are jumping into the cannabis sector. His background is in natural and organic food manufacturing, so he’s looking forward to selling edible products. He said that’s about a year away, and as a result, Kush Collective will start with selling different brands and strains of cannabis and OBD oil. Kush Collective said there’s a demand for cannabis in the city and is excited to see how the industry lights up Calgary’s economy.

“There’s a lot of talk about maybe having some kinds of consumption lounges and stuff like that or maybe some room for craft growers where you can kind of go and consume on their properties,” said CFO Shaun Baid.

Baid has an accounting background and said compliance is key right now. He noted products will be supplied by the AGLC and believes they shouldn’t be available to minors or consumed before driving.

People can apply in person at the AGLC’s Calgary office or by mail or courier. The commission said every application is different and getting a licence can depend on the business.

“We’ve had a steady flow of applications coming in today,” said AGLC spokesperson Michelle Hynes-Dawson, who notes there have been some misconceptions about the process.

“There is no cap and like I said, today is just the beginning of us accepting licences so there is no deadline.”

The AGLC will be responsible for regulating cannabis retailers with inspectors that will examine if staff are properly trained, businesses are following provincial, and federal advertising guidelines and stores are not selling to minors.