Smart Choices is the LGCA suite of certification programs for hospitality industry and cannabis industry employees. We partner with the Manitoba Tourism Education Council to offer these programs. Visit the program website at SmartChoicesMB.ca.
Smart Choices Liquor Service and Retail Certification
Everyone who sells or serves liquor in a licensed service or retail establishment must complete the Smart Choices Liquor Service and Retail Certification before beginning work. It costs $45 to take this training, which is available online, in a paper-based format and through in-class training. Visit SmartChoicesMB.ca to take the program and test. Smart Choices certification is valid for five years.
Smart Choices was launched in 2017 as a replacement for the former Serving It Safe training and the former Problem Gambling Assistance Program. Generally, gambling is offered in businesses where liquor is served, and so building this into Smart Choices equips all staff at VLT sites and casinos to assist customers who may be struggling with gambling. Requiring the same liquor and gambling training for everyone also means that the Smart Choices certification is easily transferable across the hospitality industry.
The program also features new elements to increase awareness about problem gambling, drink‑spiking and sexual assault, and Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines. Manitoba is among the first provinces in Canada to incorporate these elements into responsible service training.
Smart Choices Cannabis Retail Certification
Anyone involved in the sale of cannabis in a licensed retail store must complete the Smart Choices Cannabis Retail Certification before beginning work. This includes managers and staff in cannabis stores. You must be at least 19 years old to sell cannabis in Manitoba, therefore the program is offered only to people 19 years of age or older.
As we roll out this new program, it will be offered in class by LGCA inspectors. LGCA inspectors will work with cannabis stores to schedule and provide the training. After the inspector takes you through the program manual, visit SmartChoicesMB.ca to register and take a final test with 20 questions.
The goal of the Smart Choices is to increase public safety. This training will help people who work at licensed cannabis stores understand the legal requirements when selling cannabis, while establishing consistent social responsibility standards for stores across the province. Smart Choices focuses on providing facts about cannabis and lower-risk use, and on teaching retailers how to identify and refuse sales to intoxicated customers and young persons under the age of 19. Smart Choices certification will be valid for five years.