Manitoba plans to open its cannabis retail application to all prospective applicants June 1 in an effort to license additional dispensaries, according to a May 22 announcement.
“We are pleased to open the market further by allowing more retailers to apply for retail licenses,” Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton said in a public statement. “This move will enable local entrepreneurs to create jobs and support Manitoba’s economy, which is a critical step as we work toward rebuilding Manitoba in the wake of COVID-19.”
The province will also introduce a new “controlled-access” license for cannabis retailers, according to the announcement, as well as continue to offer age-restricted licenses for those looking to open standalone stores.
To obtain a license, prospective retailers must complete the application process and enter into a Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement with Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.
One location per applicant will be processed at a time during the new licensing round, according to the announcement, and new entrants to the market will be prioritized.
There are currently 30 cannabis retailers with age-restricted licenses in Manitoba, and retailers in the next licensing round cannot own more than 15% of standalone stores in the province.
“COVID-19 has presented challenges for all Manitobans, including local businesses,” Wharton added. “In launching this third phase of our retail strategy, we are keeping our promise to build a competitive cannabis retail environment and supporting Manitoba’s economic recovery."