Pubdate: Wed, 08 Nov 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Joyanne Pursaga
Page: 5


There's plenty of interest in selling legal pot in Manitoba. The
province notes an expression of interest on the subject attracted more
than 60 responses.

Premier Brian Pallister said that bodes well for his government's goal
to ensure official marijuana stores are accessible enough to undermine
the black market.

Pallister said the province aims to ensure access to marijuana sales
within a 30-minute drive for 90% of Manitobans to meet that goal.

"We wish to see broad coverage, broad availability," he

A provincial request for proposals on pot sales notes several factors
will help determine exactly who gets licensed to sell the drug,
including a business's ability to restrict access to minors, deliver
competitive pricing and offer social responsibility programs.

Some businesses have already confirmed their interest.

John Arbuthnot, CEO of Delta9 Cannabis, agreed the province has set up
a profitable business model. Arbuthnot said his company will
"imminently" explore the RFP process.

"We're well situated to be moving forward," he said.

Arbuthnot said supply should be assisted by the fact there are now 60
licensed cannabis producers in Canada.

Onekanew (chief) Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, whose
community owns shares in National Access Cannabis, confirmed NAC will
also seek to sell recreational pot. NAC operates 12 Canadian medical
marijuana clinics.

Sinclair welcomed the RFP'S pledge to award points for proposals from
Indigenous businesses.

He said the economic potential of the plan is significant, especially
for stores approved in urban reserve areas.

"It's absolutely an economic opportunity and it takes away from the
black market," he said.

The Manitoba Hotel Association has also confirmed its interest in
having hotel operators with beer vendors sell the drug.
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MAP posted-by: Matt