Cannabis Retail

Cannabis Retail Sales outlets are allowed on a discretionary basis in Red Deer. Whether you’re going to locate in a vacant space or an existing retail location, you’ll need several permits if you’re planning on opening a Cannabis Retail Sales business.

What does Cannabis Retail Sales mean?

"Cannabis Retail Sales” means a retail store that is licensed by the Province of Alberta to lawfully sell Cannabis and Cannabis Accessories to individuals who attend the premises.

Where can Cannabis Retail Sales be located?

The City of Red Deer will accept applications for Cannabis Retail Sales as a Discretionary Use in the C1 and C4 Districts. When you find a potential location for Cannabis Retail Sales you can visit the City’s WebMap to check the zoning of a site. 

What else should I know?

The City of Red Deer has mandated various setbacks from sensitive locations, such as but not limited to, schools, daycares, health care facilities, City recreation facilities and other cannabis retailers. Some sensitive uses are shown on the City’s WebMap, including City facilities, hospitals, and schools. Other sensitive uses will need to be located by the applicant using online searches and in person inspections of the proposed location.

Do I need permits?

Yes. Both a Development Permit and a Building Permit are required for a new cannabis retail sales location. Depending on the extent of the work, you may also require electrical, gas, heating, and plumbing permits.

Learn about the different criteria that we review before issuing a Development Permit and a Building Permit.

Development Permit

A Development Permit is required to ensure that the cannabis retail location can operate in the proposed space under the district/zoning. We also check the separation distances and location criteria regulations.

How long does it take to process?

As cannabis retail sales is discretionary, review of the application will take 2-7 business days, and then there is a 21 day appeal/advertising period. This appeal/advertising period is required under the Provincial Municipal Government Act. It allows someone to appeal a discretionary application if they feel they are affected by the decision.

What are the fees?

Please refer to 'Schedule A' of the Development Permit Fee Bylaw to find the fees associated with Development Permits.

Building Permit

A Building Permit may be required to review the safety components of an existing commercial space, and ensure it meets the requirements for your specific business. Ultimately, the goal is to make sure the space is safe for you, your staff and future customers.

What if the space is 'move-in' ready?

Even if you are not doing construction/renovations to the space, a building permit may be needed to review some of the following:

  • Washrooms
  • Fire rated walls
  • Fire alarm system
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Emergency exits and lighting
  • Cooking appliances

Again, our ultimate goal is your safety!

What is required if I am doing renovations to the space?

You will still require a Building Permit, however, we would classify this as tenant improvements rather than a change of use to the space. Additional documents will be required. Please check out our page for more information.

How long does it take to process?

  • A change of use only, no construction, could take 7-14 business days for review and issuance.
  • A tenant improvement could take 14-21 business days. 

What are the fees?

Please refer to 'Schedule A' of the Safety Codes Permit Bylaw 3551/2015 (pdf) to find the fees for Building Permits.

Permit Application Process

Check out what is included with each step of the process, from preparing your documents to beginning construction.

Who can apply?

An owner or licensed contractor can submit permit applications. If you are not the owner of the property, you will need to include a Letter of Authorization (pdf) with the application package.

If you are a contractor requiring a City of Red Deer Business Licence, please visit our Licensing page before submitting your permit application.

Step 1: Prepare your documents

Before submitting your permit applications, you need to prepare all the plan documents and forms that are required for your submission. Review the respective requirements list and forms for each permit.

User Guides

These guides will help you prepare and save your required plan documents to submit during your application process.

Development Permit

Building Permit (required if renovating or making alterations)

Step 2: Submit your applications

How do I apply?

Development Permits

Development Permits can be submitted via email. Submit a fully completed package, including all spaces filled out on each application form and providing all items on the requirements list from Step 1: Prepare your documents. A complete application package allows us to start your file. Email the package to

Building Permits

Building Permits can be submitted online using MyPermits. Please ensure you have all the documents and drawings you need for your project by following the requirement list and plan submission standards documents from Step 1: Prepare your documents. You will be required to upload these files to ProjectDox to complete your application. If the application is incomplete, the permit will be returned to you to submit the missing items.

  1. Visit MyPermits and complete a Building Permit application.
  2. You will receive an email to the address you specified as the applicant inviting you to access your project in ProjectDox for your permit application.
  3. Log in to ProjectDox with an existing account or with your temporary password provided in the email.
  4. Upload the plan documents you prepared for your application from the Upload & Submit task on your dashboard.

For assistance, refer to our ProjectDox Applicant Guide (pdf).

link to the MyPermits site

Building Permits can also be submitted via email. Submit a fully completed package, including all spaces filled out on the application form and providing all items on the respective requirement list from Step 1: Prepare your documents. Email the package to

Step 3: Processing your applications

Once we receive your complete permit applications, the Development Officer and the Building Safety Codes Officer will conduct a review of the permits, ensuring the proposed development complies with the Land Use Bylaw and the Safety Codes Act, respectively.

You will receive email notifications throughout the application process, including:

  • If we need more information;
  • When payment is required;
  • When the permit is issued.

Good to know info...

Did you know that some email servers will block City of Red Deer emails? These emails will often end up in your junk/spam mail folder! Please add as an allowable sender to make sure you are receiving our emails.

Step 4: Sub-trades permits

You will need additional permits to put in lights and outlets, heat and plumbing.

  • Electrical - for wiring outlets and lights or sub-panel
  • Heating - for heating devices, such as a wood stove (solid fuel appliance)
  • Gas - for gas appliances, such as a unit heater, radiant heater, furnace or a boiler
  • Plumbing - for floor drains, sinks, showers, wash stations, etc.

Who can apply?


The City of Red Deer allows owners to obtain permits; however, if you have no previous knowledge or experience with these installations, you should engage the services of a licensed contractor to apply for the required permits and complete the work.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Gas permits may only be obtained by a licensed gasfitter
  • Heating permits may only be obtained by a licensed heating contractor
  • Owners cannot obtain an Electrical Permit for the following work:
    • hot tubs or pools
    • main service or panel changes
    • duplex, townhouse or any unit with a shared wall
    • secondary suites
    • solar panels
    • rental properties
    • electrical car charging stations.


Contractors applying for permits require a valid City of Red Deer Business Licence. Please visit our Licensing page should you require a new or renewed licence prior to applying for your permit.

How do I apply?

Owners and contractors can apply online using MyPermits, or submit an application form via email to

link to the MyPermits site
Step 5: Site inspections

What inspections will I need?

The required inspections will be determined when the Safety Codes Officer reviews your application, and will be listed on the Safety Codes Building Permit when it is approved and issued.

If you've obtained any sub-trade permits, you may need two inspections during the course of the respective permit. 

  1. A rough-in inspection before concealing any work
  2. A final inspection once everything is complete

If you obtain multiple sub-trades permits, these inspections will apply to each permit type.

When can I schedule an inspection?

Once your Safety Codes Building Permit has been approved and issued, you will receive an email with instructions of how to schedule an inspection.

How do I know the outcome of my inspection(s)?

You will receive an email notification informing you of the outcome of each inspection.