Manitoba to ban home grown cannabis

The Manitoba government is introducing new legislation today that will set out where and how legal cannabis may be sold

The Manitoba government is introducing new legislation today that will set out where and how legal cannabis may be sold, and will prohibit the personal home production of cannabis. The legal age of possession will be 19.

“Manitoba continues to put responsible measures in place to respond to cannabis legalization, which includes ensuring the appropriate safeguards are there for legal retail sales,” said Justice Minister Heather Stefanson in a press release. “This new legislation sets out the regulatory framework, enforcement structures and compliance provisions that will help keep cannabis out of the hands of our youth and away from the black market.”

The Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act would amend The Liquor and Gaming Control Act and The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Control Act to authorize and regulate the retail sale of cannabis in Manitoba as soon as it is permitted under federal law.

Once in place, all businesses selling cannabis in storefronts or online must be provincially licensed. Once retail cannabis sales are legal, individuals must be aged 19 or older to buy, possess and use it.  This is similar to the provisions already in place for liquor sales—it would be illegal for retailers to sell cannabis to a person who is intoxicated.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL) will be responsible for acquiring all cannabis for retail sale, and only cannabis sourced through them may be sold.  MBLL would be authorized to enter into agreements with licensed cannabis distributors, regulated by the federal government. The Liquor and Gaming Authority would be renamed the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority. It would be responsible for licensing cannabis stores and distributors, and its inspectors would be responsible for compliance enforcement.

“By setting the legal minimum for purchase and recreational use of cannabis at 19 years of age, the Manitoba government has demonstrated its commitment to safe and healthy school communities where students can continue to grow and learn through to graduation,” said Ken Cam‎eron, president, Manitoba School Boards Association.  “Along with the power to consider the location of schools, parks and playgrounds as part of the process to approve cannabis retailers, government can ensure that all children are not unduly exposed to the potential harms of cannabis.”

The new legislation would also include provisions that would:

  • establish the ability of municipal governments to prohibit retail cannabis sales within their boundaries by holding a plebiscite,
  • ensure only cannabis grown by federally authorized  producers is sold at retail locations,
  • confirm all cannabis products sold in Manitoba are packaged and labelled according to federal requirements, and
  • increase penalties for offences under The Liquor and Gaming Control Act, now proposed to be renamed the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act, to a maximum fine of $100,000 or one-year imprisonment or both for individuals and a maximum fine of $500,000 for corporations for offences such as selling product from an unlicensed producer or selling as an unlicensed retailer.

A request for proposals from the private sector to operate one or more retail cannabis stores remains open until Dec. 22. The Manitoba government has also introduced The Cannabis Harm Prevention Act to address impaired driving and other road safety issues related to cannabis legalization, which is expected to occur in July 2018.

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3 comments

  1. Michael Reply

    Terrible public policy.
    The rest of the country, minus Quebec, will be permitted to do this. So why not Manitoba? The reasons given make no sense. If you're permitting people to grow it themselves, then by definition it won't be "black market" cannabis, and is that much more cannabis that isn't being bought from organized crime. But sure, let's keep prosecuting victimless crimes. All in the name of more tax revenue.

  2. Jason Reply

    "...and will prohibit the personal home production of cannabis."

    Just like Quebec, how myopic, meanwhile they allow enough home production of alcohol to kill off your whole family and the whole city block you live on.

    Or as Kirk Tousaw recently put it during the House of Commons testimony and on THC Live, "you can fill your whole trunk with enough alcohol to kill a small town". Don Davies also had some choice words on this too, lol.

    And to quote this part:
    "it would be illegal for retailers to sell cannabis to a person who is intoxicated."

    Impairment is in the brain... If science cannot do it, how can they do it?

  3. Maxcatski Reply

    No self production for Manitoba means Court challenges are inevitable. It should not be necessary to pick your province of residence based on whether you wish to grow cannabis.

    And the liquor board seems like a logical choice to manage cannabis. After all, it comes in big trucks like liquor does and it's almost the same. Oh wait, no it's not.

    Manitoba's plan will need more tweaking than the rest of the provinces. Except Quebec. They need more than a little tweak.