Virden, Swan River selected among rural communities for expansion of retail cannabis


To meet its goal of having a non-medical cannabis retail store available within a 30-minute drive for 90 per cent of Manitobans within two years of legalization, the Manitoba government is finalizing a selection process for the second phase of its retail rollout, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.

“Following the federal government’s decision to legalize non-medical cannabis, we have implemented a system that allows private retailers to do what they do best while balancing public health and safety priorities,” said Pedersen. “We are reaffirming our commitment to a competitive retail system and look forward to advancing new commercial opportunities as the industry matures.”

In July 2018, the province released a Request for Pre-Qualification seeking potential retailers interested in a future opportunity to operate cannabis retail stores in Manitoba.  Nearly 100 applicants pre-qualified as part of this process.

A selection process is the next step. Pre-qualified applicants will participate in a randomized draw for each location based on the geographic preferences they indicate. Selected applicants can then proceed through the agreement and licensing process to operate in one of the following seven Manitoba communities:

  • Altona;
  • Flin Flon;
  • Lac du Bonnet;
  • Niverville;
  • Rural Municipality of Russell-Binscarth;
  • Swan River; and
  • Virden.

Pedersen noted the Manitoba government has been working with local governments to ensure they have ‘fair say’ and are onboard with the proposed retail locations.  While municipalities control where cannabis stores are located in their communities, the province plays a supportive role to answer questions and outline options available, including reviewing how close the stores may be to schools, houses of worship and community centres, at the municipality’s request.

For more information on cannabis in Manitoba, visit