Possession Laws In Manitoba – Everything You Need To Know

Cannabis is legal in Manitoba – that might lead some to think that possession of cannabis is legal in all circumstances.

That’s not quite the case. There are many rules and regulations that limit who can possess cannabis, where it can be stored, and how much can be possessed. We’re going to look over these rules now. 

Note that the regulations we’re going to look over only apply to non-medical cannabis. Medical cannabis falls under a completely different regulatory framework. 

You may only possess 30 grams of cannabis in public

When you’re at home, you can be in possession of any amount of cannabis if you’re not growing it (which we’ll discuss later). 

When you’re in public, however, you can only be in possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis. Even that number, however, isn’t as static as it may seem. As per the Government of Canada’s cannabis regulations, we can look to equivalencies for products such as fresh cannabis and edibles. One gram of dried cannabis is equal to:

  • 5 grams of fresh cannabis
  • 15 grams of edible product
  • 70 grams of liquid product
  • 0.25 grams of concentrates (solid or liquid)
  • 1 cannabis plant seed

That means you could have 150 grams of fresh cannabis on your person in public. 

The penalties for possession over the limit include fines for small amounts, and up to 5 years minus a day in jail for larger amounts. 

Youth under 19 cannot possess cannabis

Manitoba has set the legal age for cannabis possession at 19 – this is in contrast to our alcohol consumption laws, which set the legal age at 18. Note that the federal law for cannabis possession differs – according to federal law, anyone 18 or over can possess cannabis.

The fine for youth possession in Manitoba is set at $672.

Transporting cannabis

You can have up to 30 grams of cannabis in your possession in public – but not in the front seat of your car. Cannabis needs to be stored in the trunk or some external container that isn’t accessible by anyone in the car. When it’s not, the government can issue a fine of $237 – this even applies to off-road vehicles. 

You cannot grow cannabis

The Government of Canada has regulations surrounding cannabis growth – they state you can be in possession of up to 4 cannabis plants for personal use.

The Government of Manitoba, however, imposed different regulations – you cannot possess or grow cannabis plants in Manitoba. The fine is fairly steep – $2,542. Possession of cannabis plants over the federal personal cultivation limits can incur further fines (for a small number of plants) or up to 14 years in jail (for a large number of plants).

A final note on cannabis laws

The laws we’ve discussed so far are strictly regarding cannabis possession – there are many other laws regarding the distribution and consumption of cannabis that we have not covered here.

Additionally, where there are discrepancies between provincial and federal laws, different legal strategies might be viable. Cannabis regulation is still new and complex. As such, if you find yourself confronted with a violation of cannabis laws, a criminal lawyer can help.

Matthew Gould | Criminal Lawyer, is an expert in drug charges, including cannabis charges. Get in touch.