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Manitoba outlines components of recreational cannabis regulatory regime

The Manitoba government has outlined key components of its recreational cannabis regulatory regime, designed to help drive out the illegal market by keeping prices low and promote public safety as the province’s top priority, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.

“The various health, safety, education and enforcement implications of legalized cannabis fall almost entirely to the provincial level of government,” said Pedersen. “Our plan will help cover these provincial costs and also ensure fairness, recognizing the social responsibility retailers must share.”

Manitoba’s system will include markups at the distribution level managed by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries to cover the costs of setting up and administering the supply and distribution system and a social responsibility fee (SRF) to ensure retailers share in the social costs of public education, safety, health and addictions.

The minister noted the province will communicate further with retailers and monitor the market as it evolves to adjust markups and the SRF in a way that best meets the needs of Manitobans.

“We believe cannabis sourced from Health Canada licensed producers and sold by provincially licensed and regulated retailers will better protect the health and safety of Manitobans,” said Pedersen. “We’re focused on ensuring public safety for all Manitobans – those who want to use cannabis and those that don’t.”

Pedersen added the province has taken action to strengthen public safety in advance of legalization, including measures to combat drug-impaired driving, prohibiting smoking in public places and setting the minimum age of 19 to help keep cannabis out of schools. 

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