Cannabis Retail Framework Frequently Asked Questions



Below you will find a series of Frequently Asked Questions related to Manitoba's Retail Cannabis Framework. If you want to learn more about cannabis pricing, visit our Cannabis Fees and Mark-ups webpage.

 

How do non-medical cannabis sales work in Manitoba?

In Manitoba the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) regulates, licenses, inspects and audits the industry while Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL) enters into agreements with private sector retailers on behalf of the Province. MBLL also administers central order processing of cannabis products and manages product distribution to the LGCA-licensed private sector retailers.

The private sector operates all retail locations in Manitoba and all cannabis supply is sourced through MBLL. The department of Growth, Enterprise and Trade (GET) monitors the sector generally, as it does other industry sectors.

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How do I become a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor of cannabis?

It's a serious undertaking to become a Health Canada-licensed cultivator or processor of cannabis, whether for medical or non-medical.

All cannabis sold legally in Canada must originate from a cultivator or processor that is licensed by Health Canada. Health Canada is the federal government department responsible for cannabis production and oversight, and regulates and inspects all cultivation and processing facilities. 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 cultivators and processors that Health Canada has authorized.

Learn more about how to become a Health Canada licensed cultivator or processor of cannabis.

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Are there any financial supports for the cannabis industry?

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

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Can First Nations sell cannabis?

Manitoba's retailing framework allows First Nations to participate directly in the retail market.

First Nations are authorized to sell cannabis in Manitoba on their own traditional or urban reserve land after they have signed retail agreements with Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries and completed all licensing requirements with the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba, just like all other non-medical cannabis retailers in Manitoba.

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Why does Manitoba limit the number of retailers and stores in Manitoba's non-medical cannabis market at legalization?

Manitoba placed limits on the number of cannabis retailers out of concern there may not be enough supply available from Health Canada-licensed cultivators and processors to serve an open marketplace at the date of legalization.

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 non-medical 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.

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I understand Manitoba's retail stores were established by parties who were successful in either a Request for Proposal or a Cannabis Retail Opportunity Draw. I’d like a copy of the winning proposals from a previous retail opportunity competition. How can I get these?

Proposals made to the government for 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).

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What is a Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement and can I get a copy of one?

All operators of non-medical cannabis stores in Manitoba require a Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement. The Agreement is a pre-requisite for obtaining a cannabis store license with the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority, and for ordering product from Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, the Province's cannabis wholesaler.

Copies of Agreements already signed with existing cannabis store retailers are administered by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, contain confidential third party information and therefore may be protected under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

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Why isn’t Manitoba moving to an open market?

Manitoba remains committed to moving to an open market for non-medical cannabis retail sales as quickly as possible. Supply challenges continue to exist across the country and Manitoba continues to monitor developments closely in order to open the market as soon as supply considerations allow.

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What’s meant by “open market”?

The third phase of Manitoba’s Retail Cannabis Framework is called open market. In this phase, a person or company that wants to open a cannabis retail store will be able to enter into a cannabis store agreement through Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries  and establish their store in any Manitoba community that allows cannabis retail. The person or company will also apply to the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority for either an Age Restricted Licence or a Controlled Access Licence, as they deem appropriate for their business.

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What’s the difference between those licences?

The Age Restricted Licence supports the stand-alone store concept while the Controlled Access Licence supports the store-within-a-store model. For more details about the licences, please contact the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority directly.

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Will there be more retail opportunities in Manitoba? If so, can you say when?

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. Manitoba intends to move to an open market for cannabis retail sales as soon as national supply considerations allow.


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