Two new cannabis retail locations to open in Manitoba
Manitoba is expected to have two new cannabis retail locations in the province by Nov. 9.
National Access Cannabis Corp. (NAC) made the announcement on Thursday and said it is looking to open a total of 10 recreational cannabis stores in Manitoba with an additional five stores in partnership with Manitoban First Nations by early 2019.
The two new stores will bring the current total in Manitoba to three. The first opened Oct. 17 on the day marijuana was legalized.
It is expected that the two legal recreational cannabis retail stores will be staffed by First Nations members and operate in collaboration under NAC's retail brand Meta Cannabis Supply Co. (META).
"We have partnered with NAC to work toward further development for OCN and our community", said Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation and NAC board member. "This META store launch is a historic and exciting moment for our industry and will create local jobs and proper education for the legal cannabis retail model, and we have invested time and financing to support NAC for their retail expansion, because we believe in it."
The Manitoba government has previously awarded the company authorization to operate 10 privately owned retail cannabis stores, as well as an e-commerce platform, in Manitoba.
"I'm especially proud to announce these new META locations," said Mark Goliger, chief executive officer of NAC. "They represent the commitment and strength we have in our relationships with the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Long Plain First Nation. These partnerships with First Nations represent a pivotal moment in our vision to build an expanding footprint of legal cannabis retail operations across Canada.
“Additionally, when added to the operational four NewLeaf branded stores opened in Alberta last week, it proves the power of our diversified retail strategy as we build momentum across Canada."
As part of an anticipated opening of up to 220 retail cannabis locations across Canada over the next 18 months, the company continues to develop its retail strategy to open more legal cannabis retail locations in partnership with three Manitoban Indigenous First Nations (Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Long Plain First Nation, and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation). These partnerships are expected to establish retail cannabis distribution on First Nation lands under Indigenous and NAC leadership, the company stated.
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