Manitoba’s LGCA plans to review Province’s cannabis consumption ban

| Sarah Clark

Manitoba’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) was planning a review of the province’s ban on consuming cannabis in public this year but has paused the process as it awaits direction from the new NDP government.

A 14-page briefing, first reported by the CBC, said that the provincial cannabis regulator had planned to begin a review of the possibility of cannabis consumption sites in Manitoba, including looking at the current rules that do not allow cannabis to be consumed in public in Manitoba in any form.

“LGCA has committed to a full, in-depth review of cannabis consumption sites, including industry demand, legal permissibility, and potential regulatory implications,” the briefing stated, according to the CBC.

“LGCA plans to revisit its analysis in early 2024, beginning with a review of the legislative and regulatory framework and then moving to stakeholder consultations.”

That plan was reportedly paused as the agency waits for direction from the newly formed government. The Manitoba NDP formed government in October 2023. The province’s cannabis rules were put in place by the previous Progressive Conservative government.

The LGCA also reportedly noted in its briefing that public consultations in 2021 and 2022 “did not indicate either strong support or opposition” for cannabis consumption sites in Manitoba.

Manitoba is one of several provinces that have banned the public use of cannabis. Cannabis consumption is legal in public in BC, Ontario, and some parts of Alberta. Other provinces and territories have also banned it outright. 

BC recently announced changes to its rules, allowing cannabis consumption in certain patio spaces.

This restriction means that the only place to consume cannabis is on private property or in someone’s private residence. As some landlords do not allow cannabis consumption, this ban can mean some residents have little to no ability to actually consume cannabis. 

The ban on cannabis consumption is just one of the province’s rules put in place by the previous conservative government that has been challenged by activists and advocates in the province. 

Manitoba is one of just two provinces that banned residents from growing cannabis at home, along with Quebec. The Manitoba NDP and their leader, now-Premier Wab Kinew, said that they did not support the ban previous to forming the government in last fall’s election.

A court rejected an attempt to appeal the ban in 2023, but a group challenging that ban filed an appeal on March 1 against that decision. Several requests for comment on the party’s stance on home-grow bans were unanswered, but sources close to the file tell StratCann that an announcement may come from the province on the matter of home-grown cannabis in the coming weeks.

More on this story as it unfolds.

Featured Image via Exploring Winnipeg

Related Articles