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Liquor and Cannabis Retail Stores Continue to Operate

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Modernization Efforts [alt]

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For nearly 25 years, AGLC has been dedicated to modernizing Alberta’s gaming, liquor and now cannabis industries. It continues to seek stakeholder feedback to ensure policies are meeting industry’s needs.

AGLC’s modernization efforts demonstrate our deep commitment to a modern regulatory environment that supports consumer choice, innovation and economic growth. See below for a list of AGLC’s modernization efforts over the past two years.

AGLC’s modernization efforts

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2020

April 6

AGLC eliminated the eight-page Separation of Business document to speed up the retail cannabis and liquor licensing application process.

April 6

To streamline the approval process for liquor and cannabis licensing applicants, AGLC reduced the period to consider objections to the application for a liquor or cannabis licence from 21 days to seven days. Municipal processes such as development, zoning and business licensing continue to be an important part of ensuring communities’ interests are addressed.

April 6

All liquor licensees that conduct their own liquor tastings, independent of a liquor agency, may charge customers a fee that is no longer restricted to cost recovery. In addition, licensees are no longer required to keep records of the tastings they conduct on their own.

April 6

AGLC policies in the Casino Terms and Conditions and Operating Guidelines (CTCOG) and Racing Entertainment Centre Terms and Conditions Operating Guidelines (RECTOG) have been updated to provide industry stakeholders with increased flexibility and efficiency in running their operations, including: removing the requirement to be approved as a gaming service provider in order to assist a facility licensee with promoting events such as poker tournaments; streamlining processes and operations respecting access to restricted areas in a licensed facility; and removing redundant policies, allowing facility licensees to establish house rules for multi‐square play (as applicable) and increase betting limits (as applicable) for various table games.

March 27

AGLC made several policy changes to help Alberta’s liquor manufacturers, including: removing the need to use raw materials in the production of liquor products; eliminating the maximum 20 per cent of blended or flavoured liquor products; clarifying contracting policies, including adding a provision to accommodate contractors’ distribution of contractees’ product; using litres of absolute alcohol to describe the size of a distiller to align with industry practices; and expanding the definition of alcohol to include kombucha.

March 27

Cannabis products may be sold to another licensee in the event of a permanent closure and products may be transferred between stores that are owned by the same entity.

March 17

Class A licensees are permitted to sell liquor for off-site consumption. Liquor may be sold through take-out or delivery from licensed establishments with or without the purchase of food.

February 21

AGLC reviewed and amended entertainment policies to remove restrictions on the types of authorized entertainment, and support patron and venue staff safety in licensed premises.

February 11

AGLC launched the Liquor Sales Application (LSA), a web-based portal for manufacturers to enter or transmit and validate their sales transactions. This portal helps industry provide sales submissions through a new, easy to use, online tool.

January 6

Amendments to the Casino Terms and Conditions and Operating Guidelines (CTCOG) and Racing Entertainment Centre Terms and Conditions Operating Guidelines (RECTOG) created many positive changes for casinos and racing entertainment centres. Casino facility licensees have more flexibility on staff uniforms, are able to host table tournaments without prior AGLC approval, have more latitude in the design and layout of their facility and have more flexibility in conducting poker games.

2019

January 1

The Board approved an increase to casino advisor fees (not really red tape reduction but potentially “enhancing business opportunities” for advisors)

March 11

Amended Special Event Licensing policies (e.g., simplified security requirements, simplified food requirements)

April 1 

Bingo Transition Strategy – transfers conduct and management for electronic bingo from AGLC to facility licensees (provides licensees with greater control over their bingo program)

June 6

Amended policy to accommodate cash deposits for lottery and vlt retailers as opposed to requiring Irrevocable Letters of Credit (ILOCs)

July 30

Host First Nations policies – simplified the process related to safety programs (written support from RCMP or police services no longer required for on-reserve community safety programs). Also permitted HFNs to use proceeds to cost-recover fundraising activities

July 31

Clarification of Public Resale SEL requirements (reminded stakeholders that fencing is not a requirement)

August 1

Accommodate entry fees for slot tournaments in casinos and RECs (stakeholders had asked for this)

September 10

Expanded non-cheque payment options for charities (now includes credit card, bank draft, EFTs, PADs) in addition to cheques

September 26

Made RTR changes to Casino Terms and Condition and Operating Guidelines (CTCOG) and Racing Entertainment Centre Terms and Conditions Operating Guidelines (RECTOG) – provided more flexibility to licensees and removed requirements (e.g., game managers no longer have to work opening and closing, removal of requirements related to Blackjack and Mini Baccarat tables)

November 4

Expanded the type of businesses that could apply for a Class B licence (e.g., funeral homes)

December 3

Alberta breweries able to use any authorized beer warehouse to store and distribute their products, not just the central warehouse privately operated by Connect Logistics

December 3

Reduced requirements related to Class D delivery service records for liquor

2018

March 8

Liquor Licences: Spas, Salons, Barbershops
Liquor licensing in spas, salons and barbershops created an opportunity to enhance their customers’ esthetic experience.

March 15

Gaming Proceeds
Amended the percentage of gaming proceeds that could be used to pay for facilities for certain groups where the need was identified. Changes made to the Charitable Gaming Policies Handbook.

March 21

Liquor Tastings
Liquor tastings – allowed retail liquor stores to recover the cost of food

August 7
 

Clarified policy related to contract and collaboration manufacturing based on stakeholder input and made some adjustments to create business opportunities

October 17

Amended policy to permit liquor manufacturers to infuse liquor

October 19

Created a licence class supporting Ferment on Premises opportunities (also known as U-Brew / U-Vin.

November 14

Implemented a small brewer markup to support small liquor manufacturers

December 1

Clarified policy related to “aid of the distressed” to increase opportunities for charitable organizations to utilise use of proceeds for this item

December 1

Increased the total ticket value for small raffles from $10,000 to $20,000 creating more opportunity for…

December 1

Reduction of bingo event licence fees and pull ticket licence fees