EDMONTON -- The Government of Alberta has removed a cap on how many cannabis stores can be owned by the same person or company.

Since the legalization of marijuana two years ago, a single company or person could only own up to 15 per cent of the cannabis stores operating in Alberta.

Recently, cannabis retailers were sent a letter from Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) informing them of the change.

“With the establishment of the cannabis industry, this limit is no longer required,” the letter stated.

“Removing the ownership cap is aimed at creating new opportunities for businesses in Alberta, and it aligns with the Alberta government’s commitment to modernizing policies and reducing red tape.”

This brings the cannabis industry in line with Alberta’s private retail liquor industry, which has no cap, according to the AGLC.

One of the owners of the Daily Blaze in Stony Plain supported the AGLC’s decision.

“It means increased competition, which means it’s great for the consumer. It will make everybody tighten their bootstraps,” said Brandon Frick.

Scott Treasure, owner of The Local Cannabist, said that he is in favour of removing red tape around the industry, but questions why retailers weren’t involved in this decision.

“Slight disappointment in the fact that it was a bit of a surprise,” said Treasure. “We would like to be treated like any other industry so I think that we would have appreciated to know that was coming and maybe had some consultation.”

According to Treasure, no company or person has anything close to a 15 per cent share at the moment.

The AGLC told CTV News Edmonton that the plan to examine the 15 per cent market cap within five years was known before legalization took effect. In addition the AGLC said this change would help retailers compete with the illegal market when it comes to price.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s David Ewasuk