This past week Manitoba and Quebec again reiterated the shared position of their respective governments regarding home cultivation of cannabis, as well as the importance of protecting public health and safety when cannabis is finally legalized.
Although the federal government has introduced a partial prohibition by placing conditions on the home cultivation of cannabis, ministers for Quebec and Manitoba stressed that their governments have the power to set even more restrictive conditions. And that is bad news for those looking to grow their own marijuana at home in Quebec and Manitoba. In their respective legislation both provinces have chosen to set the limit at zero, effectively prohibiting all cultivation of cannabis in the home. Their position is that this approach is supported, in both cases, by public health and safety considerations. Quebec and Manitoba believe that this rule is consistent with the objectives pursued by Bill C-45, which prohibits the home cultivation of more than four cannabis plants for personal consumption and leaves it to provinces to set a lower limit.
Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec’s Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie said, “Quebec, like Manitoba, has all the necessary legislative jurisdiction to prohibit the home cultivation of cannabis if it considers that such a decision is necessary in the interest of public health. This shared decision does not contradict, and in fact supports the objectives of Bill C-45, in particular regarding the fight against organized crime, and our governments expect the federal government to respect their choices.”
Ministers Fournier and Wishart also reminded the federal government that they need broader resources and financial support as the provinces will be undertaking the majority of work associated with the federal decision to legalize cannabis. Quebec and Manitoba are seeking a commitment from the federal government for ongoing resources for drug-impaired driving enforcement, and timely implementation of an effective seed to sale tracking system. The ministers also emphasized the importance of ongoing information sharing from the federal government, and implementation of immediate, comprehensive public education and awareness programs.
Ian Wishart, Manitoba’s Minister of Education and Training explained the province’s position as, “Manitoba’s proposed legislation is designed to help keep cannabis out of the hand of our youth and away from the black market. Manitoba is seeking respect for provincial choices as we advance responsible measures to respond to cannabis legalization. We are also eager to see a commitment of broader federal resources to ensure robust measures are in place to protect public health and safety.”