Manitoba premier mulls expanded cannabis ban to include sprays and more

WINNIPEG — “I’ve never seen this before.”

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, sitting in his legislature office for a year-end interview, is looking at a 15-ml container of cannabis spray. It’s one of the ways through which recreational cannabis can be consumed since legalization in October.

It is discreet, quick, smokeless and — perhaps surprisingly under Manitoba law — legal to consume in most public places.

“My lunch could be really good,” Pallister jokes before handing it back to the reporter who brought it to him.

The premier has said on more than one occasion he’s more of a beer man.

Pallister’s Progressive Conservative government is not alone in having to adjust to the complex realities of legalized recreational cannabis.

Across the country, governments have had to set down rules on where pot can be smoked, vaped, dripped, sprayed, eaten and sold. Police forces scrambled to get equipment to test motorists for the drug.

Pallister considers the Manitoba model for retail outlets a success. The province charges a wholesale markup and regulates distribution and sales, while the private sector operates the stores. And while every province has experienced supply shortages, retailers in Manitoba have not faced the same scarcity as those in Quebec, Ontario and other jurisdictions.

More than a dozen stores opened in Manitoba in the weeks following legalization. They are run by four companies that had been selected earlier.

Pallister expects more retailers to be approved in the new year with the aim of eating into the long-established black market.

“We’ve got to get the black market out of this stuff, or (else) why are we doing it?”

One area where Manitoba has been caught off guard is in public consumption. Many other provinces have banned using cannabis in any form in most public areas, but Manitoba’s law was written specific to smoking or vaping (except in vehicles, boats and schools, where all consumption is prohibited).

As a result, it’s open season for cannabis oil, sprays, gels and capsules.

“I thought oils were with edibles and not available until next year (under federal law),” Pallister said.

The federal government delayed legalizing sales of edibles until sometime in 2019, although people are already allowed to make their own with legally purchased cannabis.

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen has said the province is considering expanding the ban on public consumption to cover all forms of cannabis. Pallister said a decision has not yet been made.

“We’ll have to inquire and find out.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaun Janse van Rensburg, a Red Deer resident, said he is tired of changing clocks twice a year. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
After COVID, Kenney may consider referendum on daylight savings

Albertans may be divided on several issues today, but there’s a consensus… Continue reading

COVID-19-death toll in Alberta reached 309 according to numbers posted on the province’s website Tuesday afternoon. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another 422 COVID cases reported in Alberta and two more deaths

The Alberta government confirmed 422 COVID-19 cases Tuesday and two more virus… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
COVID-19 death toll verges on 10,000 as second wave continues to surge

Nearly 10,000 Canadians have died due to COVID-19, a mark of the… Continue reading

The Red Deer RCMP has filed another set of charges after an alleged assault at an anti-racism rally on Sept. 20. (File photo by Advocate Staff)
More assault charges filed after Sept. 20 anti-racism rally in Red Deer

Trevor Lyle Roy faces a second set of charges stemming from the event

Your weather forecast for Thursday, August 1st, 2019. (Pixabay)
Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer Tuesday

Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer. Although as of noon… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Reimagining ‘The Craft’ for a new batch of aspiring witches

Reimagining ‘The Craft’ for a new batch of aspiring witches

Fresh Air Experience owner Jon Digney poses for a photo in his store Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor rec options during pandemic winter

Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor rec options during pandemic winter

Indigenous fishermen head from the harbour in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. A First Nation in Nova Scotia that was struggling to sell its lobster harvest amid tensions over its self-regulated fishery says it has managed to find a buyer for a portion of its catch. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan
Another First Nation in Nova Scotia plans to start a self-regulated lobster fishery

Another First Nation in Nova Scotia plans to start a self-regulated lobster fishery

The TMX Group logo, home of the TSX, is shown in Toronto on June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
North American stock markets flat a week ahead of U.S. election

North American stock markets flat a week ahead of U.S. election

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau adjusts his mask as he leaves a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. About 130 tech CEOs in Canada are accusing the prime minister of ignoring the needs of the innovation economy and being slow to enact data and intellectual property policies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We need a champion in government’: Tech CEOs want prosperity strategy from Trudeau

‘We need a champion in government’: Tech CEOs want prosperity strategy from Trudeau

The corporate logo of Teck Resources Limited is shown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Vancouver miner says sale of oilsands stake more likely as output allowed to rise

Vancouver miner says sale of oilsands stake more likely as output allowed to rise

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds split rapid-housing cash between big cities, offer up rest for projects

Feds split rapid-housing cash between big cities, offer up rest for projects

Most Read