Western Canada: BC/AB/SK/MB

Pot shops offer double the rent, long leases to scoop up best retail spots in Calgary

Cannabis companies are scrambling and taking risks to secure prime spots in Calgary, a real estate broker says.

Companies, hoping to get in on the industry boom expected with legalization later this year, must secure permissions from municipal and provincial governments — and that requires leasing rental space first.

In bidding wars, some companies are offering to pay double the rent, Nick Preston with Colliers International Commercial Real Estate said Friday.

And most are signing leases of five to 10 years even though they may not be allowed to open, he said.

"They're paying a premium and they're actually volunteering to pay that premium on it," Preston told the Calgary Eyeopener. "That's the only way the landlords are going to allow them to come into the space."


Edmonton law firm suing Hutterite meat shop for selling E. coli-infected pork

A local law firm has filed a $15-million class action lawsuit against a Hutterite meat shop believed to be linked to an outbreak of E. coli in the Edmonton area.

James H. Brown & Associates filed a Court of Queen’s Bench claim Thursday against The Meat Shop at Pine Haven “on behalf of the people who suffered damages as a result of buying or consuming pork products that may have been contaminated by E. coli,” according to a statement issued by the firm.


Edmonton looking at charging pot shops large licensing and permit fees

City officials are recommending charging Edmonton pot stores fees more than 15 times higher than the amount paid by similar operations.

Recreational weed outlets should pay $5,600 for a development permit and $2,500 for a business licence, compared to a total of $512 assessed on comparable companies, according to a report released Friday.


Victoria's vegan 'Very Good Butchers' set to feature in CBC's Dragons' Den

Victoria’s vegan butcher shop “The Very Good Butchers” has returned from Toronto after filming for CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

The reality show is where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts and products to a panel of Canadian business moguls, and possibly receive an investment.

The store is a spin on a traditional butcher shop, but instead, only vegan products are sold in a deli-style environment or as a sit-down meal.

Since opening, they have experienced an increase in interest and sales.

“We had 1,000 people show up on opening day. We actually had to shut down for a week to re-stock everything,” said co-founder Mitchell Scott.

“We’ve now done over a million dollars in sales, and that is while being production-limited, selling out regularly and not having enough for grocery stores and restaurants.”


After 24 years, Winnipeg couple shutting restaurant following unexplained eviction

The owners of the George's Burgers & Subs McPhillips Street location were served with an eviction notice on March 30, giving them just 30 days to leave behind the building where they've built their business from the ground up. They say they scrambled to find a new location with no luck and instead, they're closing the business completely. Despite their efforts to find out why they're being evicted, they say they've barely been able to contact the property management company, Choice Properties REIT. The company is a real estate investment trust owned by one of Canada's wealthiest families, the Westons, who also own Loblaw Companies and a number of other retail operations.