Manitoba exploring sale of recreational cannabis through private sector
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says private retailers will sell marijuana once it's legalized next summer.
Pallister says the private sector will play a key role in eliminating the black market and ensuring competitiveness.
The Opposition NDP, as well as public-sector union leaders, have argued that sales should be done exclusively through government-run stores.
But Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen says there are entrepreneurs who want to get in the marijuana market and private retailers are the best way to meet demand.
Justice Minister Heather Stefanson says the province remains concerned about the federal government's Juy 1 deadline.
She says the Manitoba plan will keep pot out of the hands of kids and profits from cannabis sales out of the hands of gangs.
The province has not decided on a minimum age for legal marijuana consumption yet.
Alberta has proposed setting the minimum age at 18 to align with the legal age for drinking in that province. It has not decided if it will allow marijuana to be sold through government-run or private outlets.
Ontario is planning to establish stand-alone government-run stores offering a set price.
New Brunswick has said it will also use a Crown corporation model, and a legislature committee has recommended the minimum age at 19.