Cannabis Retail Framework

How will recreational cannabis sales work in Manitoba?

In Manitoba the Liquor and Gaming Authority (LGA) will regulate, license, inspect and audit the industry while the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL) will administer central order processing and manage distribution to licensed private sector retailers.

The private sector will operate all retail locations in Manitoba and all cannabis supply will be sourced through MBLL. The department of Growth, Enterprise and Trade (GET) will monitor the sector for expansion opportunities as the recreational cannabis industry establishes and matures.

How do I become a licensed producer of cannabis?

It’s a serious undertaking to become a Licensed Producer (LP) of cannabis, whether medical or recreational.

All cannabis sold legally in Canada must originate from a LP. Health Canada, the federal government department responsible for cannabis production and oversight, regulates and inspects all LPs. All cannabis that Manitoba’s private retailers sell to the public must be purchased wholesale through Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, which in turn will only buy from Health Canada’s approved LPs.

Though regulations for LPs under Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act, haven’t formally changed yet, information about becoming a Health Canada approved Licensed Producer is found on their website. Learn more about becoming a Licensed Producer.

I heard about / I participated in an RFP for retail stores in Manitoba. What information can you share about that process and about the successful proponents?

A Request for Proposals (RFP) was released on November 7, 2017 seeking four initial retailers for Manitoba’s recreational cannabis retail sector. Read the news release

The provincial government announced the successful retailers on February 16, 2018.

Manitoba is no longer accepting proposals for that RFP, though it is available for public viewing. View the RFP (PDF).

Proposals submitted to the government for RFP/RFI/competitive bidding processes may contain confidential third party business information and therefore may be protected under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Will there be more opportunities / more RFPs for cannabis? If so, can you say when and what?

The desired end state for Manitoba is a cannabis retail sector that includes a competitive mix of retailers providing customers with a choice among brand affiliations, service quality, and price.

Additional opportunities to participate in the industry will present themselves once the recreational cannabis market takes hold, expands, and matures. Future activity also depends on regulations the Federal government makes under The Cannabis Act. Therefore, no specific timeline is in place and opportunities could emerge quickly.

Future expansion could include edible products, specialty stores, and bake shops.

Entrepreneurs wishing to explore the cannabis industry can subscribe to government news releases for Growth, Enterprise and Trade, the department responsible for announcing cannabis retail expansion initiatives.

I’d like a copy of the winning proposals from a previous RFP/RFI/competition. How can I get these?

Proposals made to the government for RFP/RFI/competitive bidding processes may contain confidential third party business information and therefore may be protected under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Are there any financial supports for the cannabis industry, whether new or established businesses?

The cannabis industry may apply to Manitoba’s Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit for consideration.


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