Manitoba Wants To Ramp Up The Number of Privately Run Cannabis Stores In The Province
With the date of October 17th, 2018, the landscape of a post-legalization Canada is getting clearer and clearer. While in certain provinces legalization is still looked at with suspicion, the Province of Manitoba is embracing this new reality.
According to CBC, The provincial government of Manitoba wants 90 per cent of Manitobans to be able to access legal cannabis within a 30-minute drive or less within two years of legalization. While some provinces have opted for province run monopoly’s. Manitoba has embraced a model which revolves around privately run but provincially regulated stores and online sales.
Manitoba wants to make it as easy as possible to access Cannabis. The Manitoba minister of growth, enterprise and trade Blaine Pedersen informed the media that the government is planning to expand opportunities for retail sales by taking more pre-qualification requests.
“We believe cannabis sourced from federally licensed producers and sold by provincially licensed and regulated retailers will better protect the health and safety of Manitobans.”
The idea is to also help promote a more competitive retail environment in order to eventually create new economic opportunities for Manitobans. Another thing that separates Manitoba’s model from other provinces in Canada is that partnerships with native communities is encouraged.
Pedersen went on to add: “Unlike other jurisdictions in Canada, Manitoba’s hybrid model promotes opportunities for Indigenous participation in the retail of recreational cannabis,”
One Native group which is getting involved early is the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN). They entered a financing deal with the National Access Cannabis Corp. (NAC) that will allow them to build 50-70 retail locations by the end of 2018 while allowing the OCN to grow its footprint in the industry.
It will be interesting to see how this particular business model fares over the years. Manitoba is the only province to favor a privately run sales within its jurisdiction
Other notes: Legal age is one year above drinking age. It’s prohibited to sell cannabis to someone who is impaired by alcohol or other substances. Municipalities can hold a referendum to ban cannabis stores in their community.