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Manitoba, Canada Premier Unveils Provincial Cannabis Industry Plan

Manitoba, Canada Premier Brian Pallister has laid out his plan for how the legal cannabis industry will operate in the province, preferring a “hybrid retail and distribution model that allows both the public and private sectors to do what they do best” rather than a wholly government-run system.

The model will give the Liquor and Gaming Authority regulatory power of the wholesale purchase, storage, and distribution of cannabis, while the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation will secure and track the supply. Private companies will run the retail locations. The locations will not be permitted to co-locate with alcohol sales.

The plan differs from other provinces, including New Brunswick, which will see NB Liquor control the supply chain through a subsidiary.

“Legalization of cannabis is a major shift in public policy and safety remains our top priority,” Pallister said in a statement.  “MBLL oversight of supply and distribution will ensure safety, and retail by the private sector will ensure competitiveness and accessibility which will help achieve our goal of getting gangs out of the cannabis business.”

Pallister added that allowing private companies will prevent the provincial government from having to immediately invest public money into the storefronts and should provide Manitobans with a more diverse retail market.

MBLL will source products directly from federally licensed producers and sell to the retail stores. All transport and storage will be managed by the MBLL, or through LGA-approved contractors.

Officials are now seeking proposals from potential retail store applicants through Dec. 22. Initial locations are expected to open July 2, 2018 — just one day following the official launch of Canada‘s adult-use cannabis regime.

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