By Mera
February 16, 2018

Retail licence granted to Canadian company leveraging international expertise

St. Thomas, ON – The Government of Manitoba has conditionally awarded one of four licenses to operate recreational cannabis retail outlets to a new corporation featuring five organizations:

  • Avana Canada Inc. “Avana”, Ontario, CA
  • Fisher River Cree Nation, Manitoba, CA
  • Chippewas of the Thames, Ontario, CA
  • MediPharm Labs, Ontario, CA
  • Native Roots Dispensary “Native Roots”, Colorado, US

The License will enable the company to operate legal retail cannabis stores and an online cannabis sales platform in Manitoba. This represents a significant milestone for this group, as the Government received over 100 applications with only four licences to distribute.  

Avana will be leading LP relationships as well as supplying the Province with a cutting-edge agricultural operation.  Product development will be supported by MediPharm Labs in the oils, concentrates and edibles space. Zubin Jasavala, CEO, Avana remarked, “While Avana and our Canadian team brings a wealth of resources, relationships and an understanding of the Canadian market, we actively sought out an organization with extensive retail experience to complement our strengths.” With this type of experience hard to come by in Canada, the team was drawn to US-retailer, Native Roots Dispensary.

An early entrant and leader in the cannabis industry, Native Roots has been operating dispensaries in Colorado since 2009 with the advent of medical cannabis adding recreational dispensaries in 2014.

Fisher River Cree Nation and Chippewas of the Thames are both equity providers who will have active involvement in the operations of the business. However, future aspirations include production facility expansion in Manitoba. “Fisher River Cree Nation is very pleased and proud to participate in this initiative with Avana,” said David Crate, Chief, Fisher River Cree Nation. The venture opportunity provided by Avana has the potential to have a tremendous positive impact on the economic future of the Nation.”

Upon the confirmation of our licensing arrangement, the team will be solidifying their retail name and identity and begin identifying locations for each retail outlet.


For more information please contact:

Emily Ondercin-Bourne

About Avana – Avana is a late-stage applicant to produce, process and market cannabis under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). In 2018, Avana is undertaking the construction of a 720,000 sq. ft. expansion facility, on over 200 acres of land, with the capacity to produce over 90,000 kg of premium cannabis flowers and oils for both domestic and international retail in the medicinal and recreational markets. Avana was founded in 2014, with operations commencing in St. Thomas, Ontario. To learn more visit