The government of Manitoba will allow the widespread sale of cannabis across the province. It will be sold with liquor in privately owned retail stores, including some where minors are allowed inside. However, the province has banned home cultivation, restricted use from most public places and maintained the national government ’s minimum age of 19 for purchase, when Canada legalized adult-use marijuana on October 17, 2018.
The Liquor and Gaming Authority became the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) of Manitoba and will expand to regulate cannabis in the province.
Manitoba ranks fifth in population among Canada’s 13 provinces and territories and is similar in the middle of the pack in per-capita consumption and prices for cannabis. As part of its process for crafting legislation, the LGCA conducted a Cannabis Survey of 1,201 adult Manitobans to gauge community views on the subject. More than 75 percent said legalization would not affect their consumptions, although 21.7 percent of non-users said they might try cannabis after it’s legal and 5.9 percent said they “definitely would.”
According to the survey, the top concerns of residents were setting driving limits and preventing underage use and sale to minors.
Regulated use of medical marijuana has been legal nationally since 2001 and remains in effect.
Driving while impaired is illegal and Manitoba will impose regulations that mirror federal and municipal drinking-and-driving penalties. Penalties apply to operators of a motor vehicle, boat, aircraft, train, or off-road vehicle.
Among the penalties are an immediate 24-hour suspension of a driver’s license if police believe the operator is under the influence. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles can determine whether to impose added penalties.
Under federal guidelines, drivers face graduated penalties depending on levels of blood drug and/or alcohol concentrations.
Federally, the legal limit for THC in the bloodstream is 2 nanograms per milliliter, but those that hold a graduated drivers license are held to a zero tolerance. A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram. Concentrations between 2 and 5 nonograms result in a fine up to $1,000. Concentrations of 5 or more nanograms will result in a $1,000 minimum fine on the first offense, imprisonment of 30 days or more on a second offense and 120 days or more on a third offense. Penalties for drug-impaired driving accidents can range from 18 months to as much as life in a fatal accident.
How to Purchase
Private adult-use marijuana retailers will be licensed and regulated by the LGCA. Stores will be able to sell both liquor and cannabis in two types of stores. In stores where minors are permitted, cannabis must not be visible or available to be examined. In stores restricted to patrons ages 19 and older, marijuana will be allowed for display. In either case, it must not be visible from outside the store.
The provincial government in February 2018 announced four retail groups that had been approved to open about 30 stores. However, a second phase was launched to choose more retailers.
Retail stores will be permitted to sell a maximum of 30 grams, or 1.06 grams, of dried cannabis to an individual at one time. Retailers are allowed to sell online and make home deliveries.
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will acquire all cannabis for retail sale and will be the sole provider of the marijuana.
Municipalities will be able to hold referenda on whether to prohibit retail sales through 2022.
The federal government also said it is working with First Nations communities regarding cannabis sales on reservation lands.
Where is it Safe to Consume?
Smoking is prohibited in most public spaces, including parks and beaches, as well as many locations where liquor and tobacco are allowed. It will be allowed on private property.
It is illegal to consume cannabis in a moving or parked vehicle for either drivers or passengers.
Possession Information and Limits
The minimum age to buy or possess cannabis in Manitoba is 19.
Consumers will be limited to 30 grams, or 1.06 ounces, of cannabis per transaction.
The province allows possession by adults of up to 30 grams, or 1.06 ounces, of cannabis in a public place. In a vehicle, cannabis must be stored in a sealed container that is not accessible during transport to the driver or passengers.
The national government has set equivalencies for one (1) gram of dried cannabis to equal:
- Five (5) grams of fresh cannabis
- 15 grams, or 0.53 ounces, of edibles
- 70 milliliters, or 2.37 fluid ounces, of liquid
- 0.25 grams of concentrate, and
- One (1) plant seed.
Premade edibles and extracts will not be available until one year after the legislation is passed, although consumers can create their own edibles as they wish.
No limit has been established for the amount of marijuana that can be stored in a home.
Youths younger than 19 are not allowed to possess or consume marijuana and are subject to provincial fines.
By federal law, patients using medical marijuana are allowed to have up to 150 grams, or 5.3 ounces — 30 times the daily dose prescribed by an authorized health-care practitioner — of dried marijuana or its equivalent.
to Be to Consume?
Manitoba has banned the growth of cannabis plants for personal adult use, breaking with federal guidelines. Those caught growing will face provincial fines. Exceptions are made for authorized adults who grow medical marijuana for personal use.
Manitoba joins Quebec and Nunavut among provinces and territories to ban home growing.
Thousands of Canadians are federally licensed to possess and use medical marijuana. Until the new law is passed, Canadians must the qualify for the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), which came into effect on August 24, 2016.
Recipients must provide medical documentation confirming the diagnosis by a health-care practitioner, either an authorized physician or nurse practitioner.
Patients must not be convicted of a marijuana-related offense and be registered only once at a time.
Generally, patients can qualify for medical marijuana under two categories. One is to allow for compassionate end-of-life care, for pain symptoms, or for side effects from cancer or HIV/AIDS medications. The second category is for patients suffering from other persistent debilitating symptoms. Among the ailments Health Canada lists as possibly qualifying are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Attention-deficit and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorders (ADD/ADHD)
- Back and neck conditions
- Brain injury
- Chronic nausea
- Chronic pain
- Eating Disorders
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Kidney failure/Dialysis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe arthritis
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep disorders
- Vehicular crashes
Information on eligibility and applying is available at the Canadian government’s medical marijuana website.
Authorized caregivers are allowed to possess fresh or dried marijuana or cannabis oil, and may transfer or administer the substance or provide a medical document. They may also transfer cannabis to an individual who is responsible for the patient under his or her professional treatment.
This page was last updated October 5, 2018.