Manitoba Confirms Retail Cannabis Operators

Cannabis Investing News

Canada is moving closer to the date of legalization, and Manitoba has confirmed the retailers that will be able to sell the drug for recreational use.

Manitoba revealed the early winners of supply agreements and retail licenses to provide the province with its legal cannabis products.

Last Friday (June 29), companies updated investors on the type of deals they had acquired with the Canadian province. Three companies have issued updates as well on the development of the private retail presence planned.

The province awarded four licenses earlier this year for the operations of retail storefronts to sell legal cannabis with National Access Cannabis (NAC) (TSXV:META), Delta 9 (TSXV:NINE) and Hiku Brands (CSE:HIKU) winning three of the four licenses. The fourth license was awarded to an unnamed and unlisted business grouping.

The cannabis store operator announced on Tuesday (July 3) it earned 10 retail locations across Manitoba. According to NAC four of these will be located in Winnipeg: one in Brandon, and the rest across smaller communities.

NAC signed an agreement with a group of five Manitoba First Nations groups relating to the participation in these upcoming stores.

Cannabis is set to become legal for adult-use in Canada on October 17, after the approval of Bill C-45. According to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the provinces and territories asked for more time in order to be better prepared for the start of legal sales.

Hiku Brands also obtained permission from the province to open 10 retail locations, with a similar location strategy. Five will be placed in Winnipeg and one in Brandon.

Hiku will be supplying the province its own grown cannabis products as well. The company will provide 2,000 kilograms of cannabis to Manitoba during the first year of recreational sales.

Delta 9 unveiled on Monday its plans to open two shops in Winnipeg, one in Brandon and another in Thompson before the end of 2018.

According to the company the number of retail locations it will operate in 2019 “will depend on the retail allotments issued by the Manitoba government.”

“Geographic distribution of cannabis stores is an important factor in moving cannabis sales away from the black market and we in turn have made that one of our key goals for this year,” Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot said.

When asked about upcoming catalyst for the cannabis stocks market, Jason Zandberg, analyst with PI Financial, told the Investing News Network (INN) he expects rallies to manifest with companies earning retail licenses in Canada.

The Canadian provinces and territories have been given the option to manage and operate the legal sales of cannabis. Manitoba has elected to award companies with licenses for private cannabis shops set to offer legal product to consumers.

Recreational cannabis products will also be available to purchase online through the legal distributors allowed by the local government.

“Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL) would be responsible for acquiring all cannabis for retail sale, and only cannabis sourced through them may be sold,” the province announced last year.

Cannabis supply agreements with Manitoba

Cannabis producers also revealed to investors how much product the province of Manitoba has asked them to supply during the first year of legal sales. The following public companies earned a first year supply agreement with Manitoba:

Organigram and Tilray, a company preparing for an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Global Market, failed to disclose how much product each will be supplying to Manitoba. Meanwhile Maricann announced its deal is worth 550,000 grams of product for the first year of the agreement.

Canopy’s deal will send 6,500 kilograms of cannabis to the province, Aphria will supply 2,700 kilograms and Delta 9 will offer 2,300 kilograms. The Supreme Cannabis Company announced it will be providing 1,690 kilograms.

Investor takeaway

During Tuesday’s trading session, the retail involved companies experienced mixed results in terms of stock performance. Investors of NAC enjoyed a 9.37 percent increase to the company’s stock, which closed at C$1.12.

Hiku on the other hand, suffered a 4.14 percent dip to its share value and reached a price of C$1.39 by the closing bell. However, Hiku announced its retail locations and supply agreement on June 29, when its shares rose 1.40 percent.

Finally Delta 9 decreased in value 3.25 percent on Wednesday’s session to reach a price per share of C$1.49.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Hiku Brands, The Supreme Cannabis Company and Maricann are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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