Welcome to Edmonton: The Future Cannabis Industry Capital of the World

This week, I had the opportunity to convene a fascinating group of investors, food scientists, entrepreneurs, agriculture producers business leaders, and public policy specialists around the question of how to position Edmonton as the future cannabis capital of the world.
Enormous opportunities exist in tourism and hospitality experiences, infusing new food, creating new products for export, building on our regional strength and supply chain and much more. The opportunities are as endless as your imagination. Food and beverage experiences. Restaurants. Spas. Psychotropic or non-psychotropic. THC or CBD. This is not your old-school cheech and chong, but rather a chance to take a public health approach and destigmatize the products. A cafe with ingestibles. Bubble tea. Research centres. The seeds are already growing.
How can Edmonton help? An immediate, local opportunity is with our zoning bylaw renewal process. We have the opportunity to make our zoning bylaws more permissible to cannabis and aligned with alcohol. This would open the door to potentially a restaurant or bar, a spa, a tasting, a cafe-- all sorts of permitted but regulated uses similar to alcohol.
These uses are not currently proposed in the Zoning Bylaw Renewal, but I intend to put them forward for further refinement and inclusion at a future date.
Share your feedback via the City of Edmonton Zoning Bylaw Renewal Process:
https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/urban_planning_and_design/zoning-bylaw-renewal


Edmonton is already a thriving mecca for entertainment, recreation, craft beer, and festivals. Yet Cannabis tourism has yet to take flight. With the average age being younger than the Canadian average and the highest per capita spending on cannabis of all Canadian major cities, Edmonton’s demographic profile aligns well with the consumer profile of those interested in cannabis tourism. With nearly 20% of collected cannabis sales revenues in 2021 in the USA connected to cannabis tourism, there is a significant opportunity at Edmonton’s fingertips.

 

Earlier this month, we passed the four year anniversary of the legalization of cannabis. Our country is much better for it, and 73% of Canadians agree according to Abacus data. 
To learn more I encourage you to reach out to my office: [email protected]
I'll be sharing more information here as it is available.
To learn more I encourage you to contact Diplomat Consulting (https://www.diplomatconsulting.com/), who is leading the charge on this initiative and provided the two-pager linked below. They are a team of industry experts on regulated markets with a vision for the cannabis tourism sector, beginning with their home base of Edmonton, then the rest of the country and world.

For this initiative, Diplomat has created a 2-page synopsis of the potential for Edmonton as a cannabis tourism destination, you can view it here.

If you're interested in putting your comments into the ZBR for cannabis zoning, you can do so directly in the online draft version here: https://engaged.edmonton.ca/zoningbylawrenewal/guest_book. There are a few more weeks to review and share your thoughts, before the ZBR moves to Phase 2, but with your support, Edmonton could have properly zoned and compliant consumption lounge spaces for cannabis by 2023.

The Government of Canada is also reviewing the Cannabis Act as we speak and there is opportunity to submit comments for this as well. If you are interested in that, please reach out to the Diplomat team on how they can assist. 

Background: Federal Government re: Cannabis legalization and regulation:
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/engaging-cannabis-legalization-regulation-canada-taking-stock-progress.html
 
Email:
Address: 1 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, 2nd Floor, Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7