From wine to weed
We're still waiting to see who will take the lead as educators in this new market, but some in the wine industry say they are up to the task.
That means Manitoba could soon be home to not just wine reps but a number of cannabis reps.
"We have a lot of experience handling controlled substances and dealing with liquor boards across all 10 provinces," said Lisa Campbell, cannabis portfolio specialist for Lifford Cannabis Solutions, a subsidiary company of Toronto-based Lifford Wine and Spirits.
"Now that cannabis is being regulated similar to alcohol, there are a lot of parallels in terms of the supply chain and the services that producers will need getting to market."
All marijuana sold in Manitoba will first go through Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, but as the number of licensed producers expands and products diversify, Campbell says there will be demand for a cannabis rep service to help link retailers with producers.
"There are so many products that are on the existing grey market which haven't been approved yet by Health Canada so we're really hoping that as we move towards product diversity, especially Year 2 of legalization, that all these products will be available — from dried flower and oils currently to in the future hopefully vape pens, as well as edibles and beverages," said Campbell.