Manitoba Prepares for Second Round of Cannabis Show Consultations – Winnipeg
Manitoba plans to re-conduct a round of consultations on cannabis consumption spaces, more commonly known as cannabis parlors.
In a statement to Global News, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen said the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority intends to hear from the cannabis industry, stakeholders and the public in 2022.
“These consultations will help guide future policy regarding spaces for cannabis consumption,” said Friesen.
The first round of consultations, which took place last year, garnered “mixed support” for spaces according to a government report.
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However, opinions may have been influenced by people’s reluctance to socialize during the pandemic, the report says.
“I really think (cannabis shows) would give small business owners the opportunity to carve out a niche market for them to not only stand up against the big companies but also to differentiate themselves from the other guy by down the street, ”said Steven Stairs, a longtime cannabis advocate and president of the Cannabis Business Association of Manitoba.
“The number of retail stores looking to expand their commercial footprint in the living room consumer space market is immense. It’s not everyone, but it’s definitely a big part.
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Part of that, Stairs says, is because businesses across the country – and not just the cannabis industry – will seek to get back on their feet in a post-pandemic world.
The first consultation of the government showed that a slight majority of those questioned did not agree with the authorization of spaces for cannabis consumption.
A total of 800 online polls were collected, with 43 percent of respondents opposing the sites, 39 percent in favor and 15 percent neutral.
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The main concerns were listed as the need for increased enforcement and public education, while new business opportunities and new sources of income for small businesses were seen as opportunities.
Stairs maintains that the landscape has changed since then and the number of retailers has exploded.
“The consensus between storefronts and homeowners was’ let’s get through the pandemic. Let’s try to survive, ”Stairs said of the previous consultation.
“So I think this will again give cannabis stores an option to survive and thrive with an option to serve different customers and carve out a niche.”
Friesen says the second round of consultations is expected to begin in early 2022.
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