White label cannabis now OK in Alberta retail

Published on June 6, 2024 by Pat Bulmer

Boxes of cannabis products, some containing white label cannabis products Photo: File photo/the oz.
A cannabis store storage room contains boxes of product yet to be unpacked.

Private-label cannabis products can now be sold in Alberta.

Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis changed its rules on May 31 to allow white-label cannabis products, as they’re also known, to be sold in cannabis stores.

“Private label means a cannabis product that is manufactured exclusively for a specific licensee,” the liquor and cannabis regulator explained in a bulletin.

In its updated Retail Cannabis Store Handbook, the regulator says:

— “Private Label cannabis products, also known as Store Brand or White Label cannabis products, must be listed at a wholesale price equal to or greater than the lowest general listed products that the cannabis supplier has in the same category and product.”

— “Private Label products are subject to all applicable taxes, duties and markups applicable to cannabis products in that category.”

— “No Private Label cannabis product arrangement between a cannabis supplier and a cannabis licensee can preclude the supplier from entering into another arrangement to produce Private Label products for another licensee.”

— “Strip labels or stickers are not acceptable to identify Private Label cannabis products.”

— “Private Label cannabis products cannot be used as an inducement.”

— “Only cannabis retailer(s) who have been identified to AGLC will be allowed to purchase that Private Label cannabis product from AGLC.”

Calgary-based High Tide, which owns Canna Cabana stores and other cannabis labels, cheered the new rules.

“This is good news for High Tide’s Cabana Cannabis Co. brand, which is already in-market in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and for the newly acquired Queen of Bud brand, which is also available in Ontario,” the company says in a news release. “The company looks forward to bringing both brands to Alberta consumers as soon as possible.”

“I am thrilled to see the AGLC take action to join other Canadian provinces in allowing private label cannabis sales,” says CEO Raj Grover.

“While Canna Cabana’s size and scale will allow it to benefit from this announcement, other retailers will also be able to take advantage of private label sales, thus improving consumer choice and product differentiation within the legal cannabis sector.”