The government will oversee the supply and distribution of cannibus in Manitoba, and the private sector will sell it to consumers.

Premier Brian Pallister, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson, and Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen spoke to reporters at the Legislature today about the province's pot plan.

A request for proposals has been issued. Pallister says they had a great response in the summer at the expression of interest stage, and they're anticipating a strong response now.

"What is clear from this RFP is that we are not leaving the possibility of (Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries) competing with you and your friends who want to bid on having a store. There will not be public competition emerging six months after you've put in your capital risk, (and) trained and hired your people," says Pallister.

Pedersen says the Liquor and Gaming Authority will assume the role of regulator.

"It will regulate the purchase, storage, distribution, and retail of cannibus," says Pedersen.

Pedersen says a regulatory framework will be developed and the Liquor and Gaming Authority will act as the licensing body. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation will oversee the wholesale and distribution of product, and all pot sold by retailers must be purchased through MBLL.

Pedersen says their approach is designed to meet the objectives of: eliminating the black market, keeping cannibus out of the hands of youth, and creating new opportunities in the market place.

Pallister says, in Manitoba, pot will not be sold in proximity to alcohol.

The RFP deadline is December 22, 2017. Recreational marijuana is to be legalized by July 1, 2018, and it will be sold in Manitoba July 2, 2018.