Cannabis in Manitoba

Cannabis and youth.

Legal Age

Following consultations with Manitobans, the Manitoba government set a legal age of 19 for the use, purchase and possession of non-medical cannabis.

To protect against underage purchases:

  • retail cannabis stores holding age-restricted licences must not permit young persons to enter the store.
  • retail cannabis stores holding a controlled-access licence may allow young persons to enter the store, but cannabis must not be visible or accessible.
  • regulations under The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act will set out the types of identification required to verify age.

Fines will mirror those currently in place for youth possession and consumption of alcohol; the current fine for youth found in possession is $672.

Health Risks for Youth

The human brain does not finish developing until the age of 25, making youth more vulnerable to the health impacts of cannabis than most adults are. Using cannabis in early teen years can change the structure of the brain as it develops. Daily or almost daily use also seems to have different effects on youth than it does on adults, such as lasting problems with attention span, memory and other mental functions.

Although the risk of becoming dependent on cannabis is higher for people who use cannabis from a young age like early teens. Early use also increases the risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms or developing schizophrenia.

Research has shown that teenagers with high levels of anxiety might start using cannabis at a younger age, and they may increase the amount and frequency of use more quickly than other teens. Teen girls who experience depression may also use larger amounts of cannabis more often than peers.

Talking to Youth about Cannabis

“When I was a kid...” doesn’t really work when talking with your kids about cannabis today. It’s a whole new ballgame.

Cannabis - legal or otherwise - is a hot topic. Parents who provide their kids with balanced information about the effects associated with cannabis (often called marijuana) can help them make informed decisions. It’s more important than ever for parents to protect their kids’ health and development by addressing this issue early and often. For more information on talking to your kids about cannabis, please see Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living's website.