National Access Cannabis One of Four Groups to operate retail pot stores in Manitoba

February 16, 2018 / BY / IN News

Manitoba has identified four companies that will be allowed to operate retail  locations for recreational cannabis

The province says it has conditionally accepted proposals from:

  • Consortium of Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corporation — Delta 9 operates an 80,000 square foot production facility in Winnipeg and expects to hire approximately 100 people for production and retail in the first year, and an additional 100 the following year.  Canopy Growth is headquartered in Smiths Falls, Ont., and operates numerous production facilities across Canada and around the world with over 700,000 sq. ft. of production licensed under Canada’s medical cannabis framework.
  • National Access Cannabis — Operates medical cannabis care centres across Canada. The organization has partnered with several Manitoba First Nations: Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation.
  • Tokyo Smoke — A wholly owned subsidiary of Hiku Brands Company, in partnership with BOBHQ, a Manitoba-based head shop that operates several retail locations.
  • 10552763 Canada Corporation —  The corporation is a new entity featuring Avana Canada Inc. of Ontario, Fisher River Cree Nation of Manitoba, Chippewas of the Thames of Ontario, MediPharm Labs of Ontario, and US-based retailer Native Roots Dispensary.

The number of stores and locations where each group will be allowed to operate must still be worked out, the province said in a news release.

“Our primary concern from the start has been public safety, and this will continue to be paramount,” said Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen.

“We’ve worked quickly and diligently, and we’re confident that we’re on track to have retail locations begin operating in Manitoba as early as July 2.”

Conditions must be met

The Manitoba government asked for proposals in early November and “following a thorough evaluation process, it has been determined that these four proposals best meet the criteria outlined in the RFP [request for proposal],”  Pedersen said.

However, he added, the acceptance of the proposals is conditional upon several factors, including reaching all of the necessary agreements and providing the required documents as outlined in the RFP.

“As we move forward, we’ll continue to engage with Indigenous communities regarding on-reserve cannabis retail opportunities and with the Association of Manitoba Municipalities on promoting access to retail throughout the province,” Pedersen said.

Jim Bear, chief of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, called the approval of the National Access Cannabis bid “fantastic news.”

“First Nations, we’re always in dire need of businesses, and this certainly gives us another opportunity,” he said.

The partners in National Access Cannabis operation will educate people in the communities about cannabis and the difference between what is legal and what is not, as well as the differences in the quality of the cannabis.

“This will not only be done in a safe environment, but will not have the additional additives that one faces in the black market,” he said about the pot that will be produced.

-Story courtesy of CBC Manitoba

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