The cannabis retail boom continues in Gasoline Alley.
Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission unanimously approved the fifth application for a cannabis shop in the fast-growing Gasoline Alley.
Gasoline Alley Cannabis would be located in a strip mall off Leva Avenue, which is already home to Chopped Leaf, Opa, Edo Japan and Second Cup franchises.
A cannabis shop has also been approved in the county’s Junction 42 development, which is taking shape just west of QE2 and 42 interchange east of Penhold.
Construction is well underway at Junction 42, with a Petro-Canada cardlock expected to open in November. A regular gas station, Tim Hortons, Burger King and pizza shop are to follow.
Coun. Christine Moore asked if there were limits in the county’s development regulations on how many cannabis shops can set up.
Senior development officer Denise Bedford said there is nothing in county rules limiting how many applications can be approved.
Mayor Jim Wood asked if there had been any problems or complaints connected to cannabis shops.
Bedford said there have been no issues brought to the county’s attention, although not all of the successful applicants have gone forward with their plans.
Wood questioned whether there was enough public demand to support the number of stores proposed.
“I think the market will probably dictate what the appropriate number may be.”
Cannabis outlets cannot be located within 100 metres of a school or a public health facility. No consumption is allowed on site and products must not be visible from outside the store.
Hours are limited to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the county. Applicants must also prove a provincial cannabis licence has been applied for and all provincial regulations have been met.
Red Deer has around half a dozen cannabis stores so far and Lacombe has five.
Alberta is a cannabis retail leader nationwide. In Calgary alone, more than 200 stores have been approved, although not all have opened.
Provincewide, 283 licences had been approved as of Sept. 16, according to Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis.
By comparison, B.C. will allow only eight stores in the entire province. Ontario has a 75-store limit.
An earlier version of this story said there were six — not five — cannabis stores now approved in Gasoline Alley.