The Manitoba Hotel Association expects about 25 per cent of the hotels it represents will apply to sell pot, after not making the cut when the province put out the first request for proposals a year ago.
Scott Jocelyn, president and CEO of the MHA, said it’s becoming a lot tougher for hotels, particularly in rural Manitoba, to make money and continue to be relevant.
“We look for opportunities,” he said Friday. “Here’s cannabis, someone is going to retail it, why not the hotels?”
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The Manitoba government put out a call for expressions of interest on selling retail cannabis last fall, but the proposal from MHA was not selected.
MHA represents about 80 per cent of Manitoba hotels. Jocelyn estimates about 25 per cent will apply before the deadline in two weeks.
Given the network MHA has around the province, Jocelyn said rural hotels can fill the gap in some areas that might be under served after marijuana becomes legal Oct. 17.
“In some of those communities, I don’t think they would be the first place someone would put a store,” he said.
“If you were running it in conjunction with a hotel, it may make a lot of sense in those communities.”