City councilor wants Edmonton to be world’s cannabis capital

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An Edmonton city councillor wants the city to become the cannabis capital of the world.

Coun. Michael Janz says after four years of legalization, he wants to see Edmonton become a pot tourism destination in Canada.

“I think we already have all the ingredients here in Edmonton and Alberta,” said Janz, the councillor for Ward papastew. “We’ve got some of the best post-secondaries, we’ve got a great (agriculture) tech sector.

“We already have people innovating in this space… but we as a city can get out of the way.”

With 164 stores, Edmonton has the highest number of retailers per capita.

Janz says city council is currently reviewing zoning bylaws around cannabis. He’s hoping to see rules change so consumers can have more options.

“There’s an opportunity here to add cannabis lounges and to add greater permissivness around cannabis to restaurants, to hospitality, to spas – many other purposes.”

On the industry side, cannabis producers across the country are calling on the federal government to lower taxes on cultivators in order to stamp out the black market and support smaller businesses.

“Stemming from a tax structure that takes away about 30 per cent of their top-line revenue,” said Dan Sutton, the founder and CEO of Tantalus Labs.

“And the problem is that we have an illicit competitor, that deeply entrenched black market that doesn’t pay any tax, doesn’t pay any cost of compliance.”

City council is seeking public input on zoning bylaws online.

Janz says if changes go through, there could be cannabis lounges in Edmonton next year.

Region: Alberta

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