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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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 non-medical 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).

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How do Manitobans know the November 2017 RFP evaluation was fair? Is there more information about it?

The Manitoba government engaged a Fairness Monitor from the firm Optimus | SBR to monitor the evaluation process and make sure it proceeded within established procurement policies and processes. The ‘Fairness Monitor' confirmed the treatment of all potential and actual proponents was consistent and fair. Read the Fairness Report.

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I heard about / I participated in an RFPQ for additional retail store opportunities in Manitoba. What information can you share about that process and about the successful proponents?

The Province released a Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) on July 23, 2018 seeking retailers interested in pre-qualifying for opportunities to operate new retail stores in Manitoba. Read the news release

Manitoba is no longer accepting proposals for the RFPQ, though it is still available for viewing. View the RFPQ (PDF).

Proposals submitted to the government for competitive bidding processes may 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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Did Manitoba hire a Fairness Monitor for the July 2018 RFPQ?

No.  All proponents that met the criteria required in the RFPQ document were approved for the pre-qualification list. 

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How will the pre-qualification list be used?

A selection draw process will be conducted when there is a decision to open a cannabis store in a community.   Proponents on the pre-qualification list who indicated interest in that community will be invited to participate. The pre-qualified retailer drawn for that community will be eligible to (1) enter into a Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement with the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade and (2) apply for an age-restricted cannabis store licence issued by Manitoba's Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.

On March 22, 2019, the Province discussed its plans for those on the RFPQ pre-qualified retailers list. Read this news release.

On May 3, 2019, the Province further clarified details for the Cannabis Opportunities Draw involving the pre-qualified retailers. Read the news release.

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Can First Nations sell cannabis?

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

Retailers who successfully compete in the Manitoba government's competitive processes are authorized to sell cannabis in Manitoba after they have signed retail agreements with the Province and completed all licensing requirements.

First Nations are encouraged to choose among any of these retailers and enter into partnerships with them in order to sell cannabis on reserve, or to compete in public competitive processes themselves.

First Nations may also establish retail stores independently on their traditional or urban reserves as well, without reference to a competitive process. However, the First Nation must, like any other retailer, sign a retail agreement with the Province and complete all licensing requirements with the LGCA.

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Will there be more retail opportunities 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 non-medical cannabis market scales up, 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.

Entrepreneurs wishing to explore the cannabis industry can subscribe to government news releases for Growth, Enterprise and Trade, which from time to time announces cannabis retail expansion initiatives, or register at Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries' media mailing list to receive news and updates about cannabis wholesaling and retailing initiatives.

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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.

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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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Can I have a copy of the Retail Organization Agreement?

All successful proponents selected through the November 2017 RFP process to establish a non-medical cannabis retail network in Manitoba are required to enter into a Cannabis Retail Organization Agreement with the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade. The Agreement is a pre-requisite for signing individual Cannabis Store Retailer Agreements and for obtaining cannabis store licenses with the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority. A template of the Cannabis Retail Organization Agreement is available for viewing.

Copies of Agreements already signed with existing cannabis retail organizations 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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Can I have a copy of the Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement?

All operators of non-medical cannabis stores in Manitoba require a Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement with the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade. 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. A template of the Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement is available for viewing.

Copies of Agreements already signed with existing cannabis store retailers 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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