Edmonton marijuana segment to become an economic powerhouse

Edmonton represents a perfect storm of factors – including transportation links, a conducive regulatory regime, and abundant sunshine and water – that would make it a major cannabis market worth upwards of $100 million annually, according to a city business official.

Speaking to Postmedia, senior business specialist Brad White said on 4/20 that a mature Edmonton marijuana market could open new jobs for as much as 2,000 people in a few short years, paving the way for the diversification of the local economy.

“I do think the industry and its sectors will gravitate here because of the (provincial) privatization model and because the city is welcoming to all legal sectors,” White said. “Industry is in our DNA and agriculture is in our blood. I think we will be in a really good spot.”

Among the professions that will most benefit upon legalization are lawyers, engineers, real estate agents, distributors, and quality testers, White added.

Read more: Benefits of cannabis legalization to spill over to real estate – report

Edmonton’s city council will be conducting public hearings next month to discuss proposed zoning changes that would take into account facilities like cannabis stores, which will be owned by private companies in Alberta.

White advised those who are planning to set up grow facilities in Edmonton to prepare an extra $2 million to cover potential delays in getting federal licences as well as high operating costs, which would stem from drastically increased power consumption (around 10 times higher than other commercial and industrial structures) and upgraded ventilation systems.

 

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