The province of Manitoba has tentatively accepted proposals from four applicants to sell recreational cannabis in the province, paving the way for possibly hundreds of stores in the coming years.
In the coming weeks, the Manitoba government will continue to work with the four to determine the number and locations of the stores that will operate.
From a list of more than 100 applicants, Manitoba conditionally accepted proposals from:
- 10552763 Canada Corporation: This group involves Denver-based retailer Native Roots, Avana Canada of Ontario, Fisher River Cree Nation of Manitoba, Chippewas of the Thames of Ontario, and MediPharm Labs of Ontario.
- A consortium of Delta 9 Cannabis and Canopy Growth: Delta 9 is a Manitoba-based licensed producer of medical marijuana. Canopy Growth is based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, and has operations across Canada.
- National Access Cannabis: Ottawa-based National Access operates medical cannabis care centers across Canada and plans to adapt its medical clinic model to Manitoba’s retail market.
- Hiku Brands in partnership with BOBHQ: Manitoba-based head shop BOBHQ is teaming with Hiku’s subsidiary, Tokyo Smoke, to build a network of cannabis stores.
Manitoba’s “hybrid” model carves out a space for the private sector to participate in recreational sales and gives the government’s Liquor and Gaming Authority an expanded mandate to regulate the entire sector.
The Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corp. will oversee wholesale and distribution, leveraging economies of scale through bulk purchasing to undercut black-market pricing.
The four groups will also be able to sell adult-use cannabis online.