While they have had numerous inquiries, the Town of Cochrane isn't accepting any business licence applications for cannabis retail stores at this time and don't expect to do so until cannabis retail outlets become legal.

The City of Calgary, for one, has started reviewing cannabis store applications, but it's much further down the road here.

"Once the province set out their guidelines it became a little bit quieter because people have to follow the provincial rules and apply there first," explains Mike Korman, Cochrane's economic development manager. "So after that, we'll see what happens once we have our process in place."

Town council has approved business licence bylaw amendments to allow for a limited number of the stores in the community and an amendment to the town's smoking bylaw is forthcoming.

"We are working currently on the process for accepting applications and the development permit process itself and we're slated to be ready for the Oct. 17 start of when cannabis is legal. So we won't be accepting any applications until then."

"We've had lots of inquiries but we haven't had anyone officially submit an application because we're simply not accepting them until its legal."

The province requires a $3,000 due diligence deposit plus a $400 application fee on top of an annual $700 licence fee. Interviews, financial information and extensive vetting are also required.

Even after that occurs, the town bylaw drastically limits the number of retail opportunities available and all are located in the downtown core. Korman has handled eight to 10 inquiries so far and there's maybe room for five locations.

"So I'm not sure if we'll receive many applications, but at the same time we may see lots of applications and we'll have to ensure we vet them out appropriately so that they are adhering to the bylaw," says Korman.

The Canadian Government says cannabis will be legal as of Oct. 17 but access will be controlled and it has its limitations. The sale of cannabis edible products and concentrates won't be legal for sale until approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force.

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