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Some Manitobans worry province is falling behind on cannabis plan for July 2018

Click to play video 'Some Manitobans worry province is falling behind on cannabis plan for July 2018' Some Manitobans worry province is falling behind on cannabis plan for July 2018
WATCH: As other provinces roll out their plans in preparation for the legalization of marijuana, Manitoba business are voicing frustration at the lack of progress here. Zahra Premji reports. – Oct 5, 2017

As the anticipated July 1, 2018 legalization of marijuana date comes closer, some Manitobans wanting to take part in the business are expressing frustration.

The province of Manitoba said work continues on the cannabis plan and that nothing is being stalled, but Manitoba has not revealed any of its plans.

RELATED: Reality check: Marijuana shortages will plague first year or so of legalization

Ontario and Alberta have both started rolling out their own.

On Wednesday, Alberta said weed will not be sold in stores that handle alcohol or cigarettes and that it will be sold in specialty shops. The legal age to buy pot will be the same as the legal drinking age, 18.

RELATED: Marijuana edibles won’t be sold until July 2019

In Ontario, the plan released last month explained it will sell marijuana in 150 government run stores, with 40 of them hoping to be open by summer. The legal age in Ontario will be the same as the legal drinking age in the province, 19.

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But in Manitoba, more questions than answers.

“They are dragging their heels,” Canadian Cannabis Advocate, Steven Stairs, said.

RELATED: 12 medical marijuana producers come together to form cannabis co-operative

Stairs said the province needs to start hammering out a plan and showing its cards so Manitobans can start preparing.

Jeremy Loewen is the owner of Hemp Haven and he said he’d like to delve in to the cannabis business, but he’s far too confused to know if and when he can.

“It seems like nobody really knows what’s going on, where it’s going, and it is frustrating because you want to get involved but you’re hitting road blocks,” Loewen said.

The province said nearly 60 Manitobans have put together production and distribution proposals.

However, unlike neighbouring provinces, decisions in Manitoba have not been made on how many shops, who will run them, or even the legal age to purchase.

“All options are on the table as far as what distribution will look like,” Minister for Justice, Heather Stefanson, said.

Steven Stairs said Manitoba is known for appreciating and highlighting small businesses, but he feels the lack of explanation on what the cannabis plan is is hindering some small businesses from being able to grow.

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