Legalization of recreational marijuana is now just hours away.

The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba said early Tuesday multiple retail stores have been approved to open for business on Oct. 17 with licences becoming activated at midnight.

On Tuesday, the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba released a list of retail stores that are approved to sell cannabis the first day it is legal.

In Winnipeg, that includes a Hiku/Tokyo Smoke location at 55B Goulet St., a Meta Cannabis Supply Co./National Access Cannabis location at Unit 23 - 584 Pembina Hwy, a Delta 9 location at Unit 1 - 827 Dakota St. and Tweed/Canopy stores at 120 Osborne St. and 1592 Regent Ave.

Delta 9 said its ‘superstore’ in St. Vital will be open at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

In Dauphin, a Tweed/Canopy store is approved to open at 1450 Main St. South.

The province has a list of approved retail stores on its website and says it will be updated as more stores are expected to open in the near future. 

As contractors work to put the finishing touches on the interior of Delta 9’s retail cannabis store on Dakota Street in Winnipeg, staff members were busy fielding phone calls and sorting out last-minute logistics of selling a product which has, up until tomorrow Wednesday, Oct.17, been prohibited across Canada.

“We will open,” said Delta 9 director of communications Gary Symons. “It has been very tight. There’s been a lot of regulatory hurdles that we had to overcome.”

“We will be open tomorrow we got the last licences and approvals today.”

The LGCA said stores can now begin to stock their shelves with product and can begin to accept online orders after midnight. Storefronts are allowed to open as early as 8 a.m. 

Delta 9, said its website will be up and running at 12:01 a.m. Deliveries in Winnipeg will be handled by a company called Pineapple Express Delivery Inc. while Canada Post will handle the company’s orders outside the city.

Symons said the cannabis industry is bringing new jobs to Winnipeg with around 100 people working at Delta 9’s Winnipeg production facility as well as additional 50 employees slated to work in retail stores.

“When people talk about the impact, it isn’t just the taxes and the income to the companies it’s really the income to the people that work in this industry and of course the taxes they pay,” said Symons. “When you’re talking about an economy that’s already pretty hot right now, with a low unemployment rate, I think Canada’s economy is going to be burning hot and a large part of that is going to be due to cannabis.”

University of Winnipeg economics professor Phil Cyrenne said it’s important to keep in mind the cannabis industry has already existed prior to legalization in the form of medicinal marijuana sector and the black market.

“So in a sense it’s going to be a market for people who aren’t in either of those right now,” said Cyrenne. “It’s serving a different market niche.”

“What they need to do, for those jobs to be sustained, they need to be able to take, to expand the market so new consumers or to take customers away from the illegal market.”

- With files from CTV's Megan Benedictson.