The Manitoba government has introduced new legislation that would, among other things, allow the province to hire minors to try and catch cannabis retailers from selling to minors.
The minimum age of access for cannabis in Manitoba is 19. The new legislation, Bill 60, amends existing legislation to make it legal for the province to hire young people to determine retailer’s compliance with provincial laws around the age of access.
The bill, which amends the province’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment Act also specifically says it’s not legal for these minors to consume cannabis.
“Our government is committed to protecting Manitobans,” says Cullen, “With continued growth in the delivery industry, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we want to make sure that liquor and cannabis products are delivered safely and responsibly.”
The proposed legislation would also allow the LGCA to hire minors and young people (under 19 years of age for the purpose of possessing cannabis) as part of its enforcement activities. This would allow thse ‘minor agents’ to attempt to purchase regulated products and allow the LGCA to monitor licensees’ compliance with prohibitions on under-age sales.
“With some children not in school and regular after-school activities disrupted, it is even more critical to ensure that age-restricted products like cannabis and liquor do not fall into the hands of young people,” added Cullen.
Such enforcement is common across provinces managing products like alcohol and tobacco, but cannabis is relatively new. Alberta has issued several fines in the past year for selling cannabis or a cannabis accessory to a minor, ranging from $7,500-$10,000.00.