The province of Manitoba’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act gives authority to the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) to regulate cannabis and issue retail licenses to private cannabis stores. Cannabis product in the province is supplied to all stores by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL).
Starting June 1, 2020, the province will open the market to new retailers. It will accept applications for both Age-Restricted and Controlled-Access Store licenses. The latter will allow retailers to sell cannabis in stores that sell other products, provided they keep cannabis products out of sight.
Manitoba has set the minimum age for purchase and use of cannabis at 19.
Below are some answers to Manitoba dispensary laws questions regarding retail cannabis sales and the cannabis retail permitting process in Manitoba. This page will be updated frequently as more information is released, so be sure to check back often. Be sure to check out our Canada cannabis retail laws page for information about regulations in other provinces.
Cannabis retail locations will be run by private operators who are licensed through the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA). Distribution of wholesale cannabis will be government-run through Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL).
Starting June 1, 2020, there will be 2 types of cannabis retail store licenses available:
Age-Restricted Stores must prohibit anyone under the age of 19 from entering the store.
Controlled Access Stores may sell cannabis inside a retail store that sells other products, so long as cannabis is not visible, and the age of cannabis customers is verified before purchase.
Beginning June 1, 2020, new applications for cannabis retail licenses will be accepted. This is a 2-part process that requires you to apply with the MBLL and LGCA.
First, download the Cannabis Retailer Application Toolkit from the MBLL's Become a Cannabis Retailer website. Once you complete this application and enter into the required Cannabis Store Retailer Agreement with the MLBB, you will receive an application from the LGCA, which will conduct background checks before issuing a retail license.
Under Canada’s Cannabis Act, public possession of more than 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent will be unlawful.
Cannabis stores in Manitoba must therefore enforce a daily purchase limit of 30 grams of dried cannabis or:
Manitoba has set the minimum age for cannabis purchase and consumption at 19.
To meet federal and provincial regulations, including those outlined in the Cannabis Act, Manitoba cannabis retailers must submit 2 monthly reports.
The federal report for Health Canada's Cannabis Tracking System is submitted by retailers to the MBLL.
Provincial inventory reports must be submitted to the LGCA via their web portal. These reports include inventory purchases, returns, transfers, sales, recalls, disposal, and inventory on hand.
A dedicated cannabis POS & Inventory Management system will simplify the process by tracking inventory and generating these compliance reports in the proper format.
It's important to know what the law says about cannabis advertising and marketing. The Cannabis Act specifically outlines five main restrictions, including:
No testimonials or personal endorsements;
Advertisements cannot appeal to minors or be located anywhere with a young audience;
Cannot include pricing information unless the advertisement is at the point of sale;
No depictions of a person, character, or animal (whether real or fiction) to promote cannabis;
Cannabis advertising cannot make cannabis look cool, glamorous, or exciting.
Manitoba relies on federal guidelines for advertising and marketing of cannabis.
Cannabis brands, accessories, or services cannot be advertised in any publication or broadcast originated outside of Canada. While the law isn't totally clear, this could limit a dispensary from many paid advertising options online.
Google Adwords is another gray area. A cannabis brand could use hyper-targeting to limit the age range of their ads and only target users in Canada. Regardless, Google still has a strict no-cannabis policy even in legal countries like Canada.
Before investing time and money into a digital advertising or marketing strategy for your cannabis company, consult with a lawyer first.
No, Canada's federal cannabis laws are very clear that no free product can be given out.
Cannabis Business Lawyer & Business Partner, Segev LLP
Ron Segev is the founding partner of Segev LLP. A practical-minded business lawyer with expertise in the cannabis industry, he represents cultivators, dispensaries, CBD extractors, oil extractors, food processors, media and marketing companies, consultancies, and other businesses in the legal cannabis market.