Manitoba’s Liquor and Lotteries Corporation was tasked with obtaining the cannabis supply for the prairie province, and a series of private retail stores was going to be approved to dispense the product to consumers in store as well as online.
The license will authorize the Delta 9/Canopy Growth partners to build and operate a chain of retail stores throughout the Province of Manitoba. The first location for Delta 9 has already been constructed in the Osborne Village area of Winnipeg, and has been operating for several months as a resource center and clinic. That location will become the first of many more stores, says Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot.
"It is hard to overstate how important this award is for our company, our shareholders, and for the future of the legal cannabis industry in Manitoba," Arbuthnot said. "As the only Manitoba producer licensed to sell cannabis, and partnered with the world's largest cannabis company, we feel we are uniquely situated to serve the Manitoba market with both quantity and quality of product."
Delta 9 management estimates the provincial cannabis market at $300 to $500 million annually. "Having one of only four retail licenses in this market, combined with what we feel is our unmatched ability to address that market, is a huge advantage for Delta 9, and should prove to be a great boon for our shareholders," Arbuthnot said.
Arbuthnot says the agreement with Canopy Growth was reached as part of the Company's commitment to adequately supply the Manitoba market. The Company has also accelerated its own expansion of its production facility in Winnipegfollowing the closing in December 2017 of a $23 million short form prospectus bought deal offering led by Canaccord Genuity Corp.
Delta 9 is pleased to announce the construction project is coming in significantly under budget, with the cost per grow pod dropping from approximately $40,000 to approximately $28,000. The Company now believes that it is fully funded to build 600 of its self-designed 'grow pods', estimated to increase cannabis production to approximately 17,500 kilograms annually.
"We've committed to producing a baseline amount of product for the Manitoba market, and we are confident we can achieve those numbers," said Arbuthnot. "However, we would like to exceed those projections in order to not only meet demand in Manitoba, but also meet or exceed our commitments to national sales under our previously announced CraftGrow agreement with Canopy Growth."
Additionally, Delta 9 products will be distributed through Canopy Growth outlets in other provinces, and through the Tweed Main Street online sales portal (tweedmainstreet.com). As responsible existing cannabis businesses, Delta 9 and Canopy Growth plan to work collaboratively within the proposed Manitoba framework to bring locally produced products as well as the best variety from across the country to future cannabis consumers throughout the province.