NDP expected to lift Manitoba homegrown cannabis ban

Published on October 5, 2023 by David Wylie

Wab Kinew celebrates his win as premier of Manitoba Photo: Contributed
Wab Kinew's NDP government says it's opposed to the Manitoba homegrown cannabis ban.

Manitobans voted for change this week during the provincial election—including the promised lifting of the controversial Manitoba homegrown cannabis ban.

Voters elected the NDP’s Wab Kinew as premier, giving the Progressive Conservatives the boot.

Before the vote, an NDP official told the oz. the party would lift the ban on homegrown cannabis put in place by the governing Progressive Conservatives ahead of legalization.

“The Manitoba NDP opposes the current ban on homegrown cannabis,” the official wrote in an email.

The Conservative government prohibited growing cannabis at home for recreational purposes “to protect youth and also respond directly to the concerns that homegrown cannabis may be diverted to the black market.”

A court challenge to the ban has wrapped up, but the provincial court judge overseeing the case has reserved a decision in the case.

Kinew is Canada’s first elected Indigenous premier.

The federal government allows people to grow up to four plants at home, but Manitoba and Quebec opted for total bans.

The Quebec ban has been upheld in court, but Lavoie argues there are key differences between the two bans. Fines in Quebec range from $250 to $750. In Manitoba, the penalty is a firm $2,542.

Most provinces follow the federal standard, allowing people to grow cannabis at home.

B.C., for example, says people 19 and over can grow cannabis for recreational purposes.

“These plants cannot be grown in a space that is visible from a public place,” the province says on its website. “For example, you can grow plants on your balcony, or in your yard, as long as they’re not visible from a public place. Growing cannabis at home is banned in homes used as licensed child care.

“Landlords and strata corporations can further restrict or prohibit growing non-medical cannabis on their properties. Local and Indigenous government can also further restrict growing non-medical cannabis at home under existing powers to establish bylaws,” the province says.

— with files from Pat Bulmer