Courtesy of Cannabis Culture
WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government is reaching out to the public to gauge interest on growing and selling marijuana once it’s legalized.
On Thursday the justice department said it had issued an expression of interest (EOI) for possible participants in a legalized cannabis industry.
For the first time, the Pallister government saying it’s considering the option of allowing private retailers to sell pot.
“No options are off the table right now. We are opening this up to get more ideas about how to do this,” Justice Minister, Heather Stefanson said.
This would include production, distribution and retail of marijuana.
This is a process the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union says provincial liquor stores are already set up for.
Michelle Gawronsky is the President of MGEU and she said why go to private retailers when the staff at liquor stores are trained and could be in a similar set up to a liquor store to safely sell weed.
“If someone is under the influence, people are trained to be able to spot that, the way they are with liquor now,” Gawronsky said.
MGEU commissioned a survey last year that showed 65 per cent of Manitobans want to see weed sold in stores similar to liquor marts. 23 per cent would like to see it sold in private stores.
The justice minister said no decisions have been made and there’s still a long ways to go before that happens.
“This is about an expression of interest to see who else wants to be involved and other ideas with respect to the distribution of legalized cannabis in our province,” Stefanson said.
The federal government has set a July 1, 2018 date for legalization.
Manitoba’s EOI is available online.
Officials are trying to determine marketplace interest and capability that would meet the standards of a cannabis industry in Manitoba.
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