Medical pot users will be allowed to vape, smoke in some public places

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Amendments to The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Product Act will allow medical cannabis users to medicate in some public places, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minster Cameron Friesen announced today.

“Our government continues to be committed to prioritizing public health and safety as we ready our province for the federal legalization of cannabis sales and use,” said Friesen.  “However, we also recognize that some people need access to medication.  These amendments will allow us to accommodate medical cannabis users.”

The amendments will provide exceptions to general public cannabis consumption restrictions to accommodate medical use.  These amendments come into force Oct. 17, the same day legalized non-medical cannabis becomes available.

While the medical cannabis regime is still under the federal government’s jurisdiction, these amendments provide patients in Manitoba with clarity on where they may medicate in public, said Friesen.

Changes to The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Products Act were made earlier this year in preparation for non-medical cannabis legalization.  The changes prohibit smoking and vaping non-medical cannabis in outdoor public places including:
•    streets and sidewalks,
•    parks and beaches,
•    school grounds,
•    restaurant patios and decks,
•    the grounds of health-care facilities, and
•    any additional places that may be specified by regulation.

As a result of these amendments, medical cannabis users will now be permitted to smoke or vape medical cannabis in outdoor public places, except as follows:
•    within eight metres of a building to which the public has access;
•    on (or within eight metres of) a restaurant or bar patio or deck;
•    at a stadium or outdoor entertainment venue, or within eight metres of those venues;
•    in a wading pool, splash pad or water park, or within eight metres of those locations;
•    in or within eight metres of a playground;
•    on a public beach; and
•    in bus shacks or other similar structures to which the public has access, or within eight metres of such structures.

Beginning Oct. 17, the act will also be renamed to The Smoking and Vapour Products Control Act.

For more information on cannabis in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/cannabis/.