Cannabis Legalization Status
Manitoba’s government has declared that “all options are on the table” for its regulations regarding cannabis sales and distribution and before moving forward with any one framework, Manitoba’s government had invited cannabis-industry leaders to discuss the best way to distribute recreational marijuana.
In November 2017, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said that retail sales of cannabis will be done exclusively through private retailers when recreational use of the drug is legalized next July. The province is also open to private retailers selling online, and cannabis can be accessible within a 30-minute drive for about 90 per cent of the population.
The government will maintain a wholesale monopoly, but private stores will sell cannabis products at prices they can set themselves.
The government is asking potential retailers to submit bids, and says bids will be judged on storage security, distance from schools and more. That process remained open until Dec. 22, 2017.
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will deal with supply chains and orders from retailers, and retail stores will open as early as October 17, 2018.
With its low cost of electricity, skilled labor force, central location and cooler climate ideal for indoor growing facilities, Manitoba is being considered an ideal spot for cannabis producers.
Cannabis Business in Manitoba
Weighing in on Manitoba’s recreational marijuana distribution structure, John Arbuthnot, of mail-order medical marijuana firm Delta 9 said he feels mixing private and public enterprises could make the most sense, as long as Manitoba’s Liquor & Lotteries is ready and willing to participate in the system.
Founded in 2013, Delta 9 hopes to expand with the legalization of recreational marijuana to have public storefronts. The company currently produces around 1,200 kg of medical cannabis at its 80,000-square-foot Transcona warehouse, which generates around $2 million in sales annually. With $6 million raised during its first four years of operation, and plans to raise another $5 million, Delta 9 plans to list its stock on the TSX Venture Exchange. To ramp up operations to meet the demands of fully legalized cannabis, Delta 9 has plans to raise $25 million in 2018 to expand operations.
Manitoba is home to one other licensed cannabis producer, Bonify. Bonify currently is waiting for approval from Health Canada to sell the crop of marijuana its grown in its 320,000-square-foot warehouse in the North End.
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