Cannabis Legalization and Regulation

Cannabis use in Manitoba

Legal age

After extensive consultation with Manitobans, the Manitoba government set a legal age of 19 for the use, purchase and possession of cannabis. Though there were differing views on what the legal age should be, it was decided that setting the age at 19 would help keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, protect the health of young people and restrict the legal market.

Distribution and retail

The Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act amendedThe Liquor and Gaming Control Act and The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act to authorize and regulate the retail sale of cannabis in Manitoba, as soon as federal law permits. Once the act is in place, all businesses selling cannabis in storefronts or online must be provincially licensed. 

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL) would 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. It would be responsible for licensing cannabis stores and distributors, and its inspectors would be responsible for enforcing compliance.

The new legislation includes provisions that allows municipal governments to hold a referendum to decide whether to prohibit retail cannabis sales within their boundaries. The referendum would have to be completed by 2022.

The Manitoba government reviewed proposals for cannabis retail locations and succesful applicants were notified in February 2018. Retail operations are anticipated to open once the federal and provincial legislation comes into force.

Learn more about the retail and sales of cannabis in Manitoba.

Changes to existing legislation

Significant changes have been made to The Highway Traffic Act and related legislation, to ensure police agencies are better equipped to deal with drug-impaired drivers. Specifically, the legislation:

  • allows for a 24-hour suspension of a driver's licencee if a police officer believes the driver is under the influence of a drug and unable to safely operate a motor vehicle
  • requires the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to determine if graduated licensed drivers, who receive the 24-hour suspension, should face further consequences
  • prohibits the consumption of cannabis in motorized vehicles on a highway
  • requires marijuana to be stored in a secure compartment - for example, in the vehicle's trunk - so that it is inaccessible to people in the vehicle, similar to the rules around open liquor
  • establishes similar restrictions and prohibitions related to marijuana use for individuals driving off-road vehicles

This legislation also makes changes to several other acts to ensure they remain relevant and appropriate, including:

  • The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Products Act has been amended to prohibit smoking of marijuana or using an electronic cigarette in any enclosed public place or indoor workplace.
  • The Public Schools Act has been amended to specifically add cannabis to the list of products that are prohibited in public schools, similar to alcohol and illicit drugs. Students using, possessing or being under the influence of marijuana while at school, could face disciplinary action.
  • The Mental Health Act has been amended to ensure residential patients who are not allowed to receive illicit drugs will continue to be prohibited from obtaining marijuana.
  • The Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act has been amended to ensure the legislation continues to apply to individuals who use marijuana as a tool to exploit or traffic another person.


The Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act prohibits growing marijuana at home.