Manitoba will task its Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL) with securing and tracking the supply of marijuana once it’s legal but the private sector will be responsible for setting up storefronts and selling it.
The province unveiled portions of its pot plan Tuesday with a mandate all cannabis will be purchased by Liquor and Lotteries, which will source supply from federally licensed producers.
The private sector will operate all retail locations.
WATCH: Global’s Timm Bruch goes over the province’s plan for pot legalization
“This eliminates the need for immediate public capital investment in storefronts,” Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen said.
“And it provides choices for consumers.”
Any businesses interested in selling marijuana are being asked to submit proposals to government by Dec. 22. Stores are expected to open on July 2, 2018, one day after it’s legalized.
In October, the province said 60 Manitobans had put together production and distribution proposals in anticipation of legalization.
Ontario released its pot plan in September with a goal of selling marijuana in as many as 150 stores controlled by that province’s liquor control board.
Manitoba businesses preparing for pot legalization
Many Manitoba businesses are getting ready as marijuana legalization looms.
On Tuesday Cannabis at Work hosted a conference at the RBC Convention Centre to help businesses brush up their pot policies.
“Employers just need to be really clear with employees going forward about what legalization means and what it doesn’t mean,” Alison McMahon from Cannabis at Work said.
“On the medical side employers have a duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship but on the recreational side there’s no accommodation needed so policies really have to reflect those two scenarios.”
Karen Post from Winpak Ltd., which has about 800 employees said a priority for the company is safety.
WATCH: Global’s Amber McGuckin looks at how businesses are preparing for the legalization of weed
“There’s no alcohol or drugs allowed on the company property so it’s just making sure we continue to enforce that and that we are fair and consistent in our process,” she said.
Some Manitoba businesses are planning to treat marijuana at work like alcohol.
Medical marijuana user Mike Milkman wants there to be more acceptance of weed in the workplace. He’s a gardener by trade and credits weed for helping him cope with his Crohn’s Disease at work.
“Any other medicine you’re allowed to use when you’re at work, I really fail to see why there should be a big uproar about cannabis,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be able to do anything at all with my day if it wasn’t for the ability to consume cannabis and reduce the pain and inflammation, be able to get a little food in my stomach so I can start my day.”
Manitoba businesses have eight months to brush up their rules and policies to prepare for legalization.