Manitoba

Leave your pot edibles at home, Manitoba premier says

While pot edibles are set to become legal this December, Premier Brian Pallister says consuming them in public won't be allowed in Manitoba.

Brian Pallister says Manitoba won't allow consumption of edibles in public when they become legal in December

Cannibis edibles will be legal in Manitoba just in time for the holidays, but Premier Brian Pallister says the sweet treats won't be allowed in public. (Jeff Chiu/The Associated Press)

Though they'll soon be legally sold across Canada, Manitobans may have to leave their pot-infused cookies, gummy bears and brownies at home.

Following last year's legalization of recreational cannabis, pot edibles are set to be legally sold this December. But Premier Brian Pallister says consuming them in public won't be allowed in Manitoba.

"You can't go out to the park and eat them," Pallister told reporters Friday. 

Manitoba's current cannabis laws already prevent smoking and vaping pot in public or in a vehicle — and include a $672 fine for people caught doing so. But the rules around consuming edibles are a little more hazy. 

Pallister believes the legislation already prohibits consumption of edible products, but admitted it's possible an amendment may be needed.

Premier Brian Pallister told media on Friday that Manitoba won't allow consumption of pot edibles in public. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

NDP Leader Wab Kinew said the government needs to provide more clarity.

"They need to clarify whether people are going to be allowed to, say, go to Folk Fest and eat a brownie," he said.

The Opposition leader argued adults should be allowed to consume cannabis edibles in public, though, as long as the packaging is childproof. 

When recreational cannabis became legal in Canada last October, the sale of edible products was still prohibited.

Last June, Health Canada announced regulations around cannabis products like edibles, beverages, topicals and extracts that will come into effect on Oct. 17. Those products will legally become available for sale in Canada in mid-December.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew thinks edibles should be allowed to be consumed in public by adults as long as the packaging is childproof.  (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Kinew said Friday he still wants to see clarity from the federal government on rules to make sure edibles are not marketed in a way that makes them attractive to minors.

Information presented in a committee he was in Friday suggested edible sales are expected to generate $20 million annually for the province, Kinew said.

Manitoba has imposed some comparatively strict rules around cannabis since legalization.

For example, Manitoba and Quebec were the only provinces that completely banned the growing and possession of cannabis plants in a residence following the legalization of recreational pot last October.

The Quebec Superior Court struck down that province's ban on home cannabis cultivation last month, ruling the provincial ban was unconstitutional because it infringed on the federal government's jurisdiction over criminal matters.

So far, only one person has been charged for cultivating cannabis in a residence since the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act came into effect last fall, a Manitoba government spokesperson told CBC News.

About the Author

​Austin Grabish started reporting when he was young, landing his first byline when he was just 18. He joined CBC in 2016 after freelancing for several outlets. ​​In 2018, he was part of a team of CBC journalists who won the Ron Laidlaw Award for the corporation's extensive digital coverage on asylum seekers crossing into Canada. Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca

With files from Cameron MacLean

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