Article by Bryce Hoye, CBC News
The Manitoba government’s new retail guidelines will allow patrons to buy pot in store or order online — but you won’t be allowed to get high on your own homegrown supply unless you have a medical licence to do so.
The province tabled its Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis ActTuesday, which prohibits cultivation in the home. The legislation outlines rules for the purchase and retail sale of cannabis, includes steep fines for those caught selling or buying illegally and gives municipalities until 2022 to hold a referendum over whether or not to allow the sale of pot locally.
The age limit for the purchase of weed will be 19; any youth caught trying to buy with fake identification will face fines. The same goes for adults over 19 who are caught buying cannabis products for young people.
Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said the government took a “balanced approach … a responsible approach” in picking 19 as the age at which Manitobans will be allowed to buy cannabis.
Stefanson said the age provides both health protection and helps keep the marijuana trade out of the hands of gangs.
NDP justice critic Nahanni Fontaine pressed the government for details on a public awareness campaign on the health issues around marijuana during question period Tuesday.
Stefanson said her government is working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, law enforcement agencies and Manitoba Public Insurance on the public awareness campaigns and wants the federal government to step up the effort as well.
The province is calling on the federal government to have “a robust ad campaign” on the health and safety issues surrounding the use of marijuana, she said.
Several provinces have indicated they will tie the legal age of purchasing pot to the legal age of purchasing alcohol, including Ontario — which has a legal age of 19 — and Alberta, where the legal age to buy controlled substances is 18. The legal age to purchase alcohol in Manitoba is 18.
It will also be an offence to pass a joint or otherwise give cannabis to an intoxicated person.