Provincial Cannabis Legislation Update: Northwest Territories Looking at Fall Legislation / Manitoba Looking at 2018

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Today’s provincial cannabis legislation update comes with news out of both the Northwest Territories and the Province of Manitoba.  Both these governments have formally announced that they are seeking public input on provincial cannabis legislation.  This news helps shed some light on when we can expect to see territorial and provincial legislation in these jurisdictions.


The government of Manitoba has issued a request for proposals to locate a company to survey at least 1,200 Manitobans over the coming months.  The government is looking to achieve a reasonable representation across the province, including people between the ages of 18 and 24, whom the government notes are “notoriously hard to reach, yet of particular interest with respect to cannabis knowledge and choices.”

The RFP indicates that that the survey must be completed by September 30, 2017, meaning that we should not expect to see any provincial legislation unveiled in Manitoba until late 2017 at the earliest, and more likely not until into 2018.

At this time we expect Manitoba to be one of the last provinces to table its provincial legislation.  The Manitoba government has previously asked the federal government to delay the implementation of the legalization of recreational cannabis and its Finance Minister has indicated that the process feels rushed.

Northwest Territories

Meanwhile, the government of the Northwest Territories (“GNWT”) has taken a page out of Alberta’s book and has launched an online survey as part of its public consultation process along with a website devoted educating the public about the legalization process and about cannabis in general.

The GNWT has indicated that it is working diligently in order to have the necessary territorial legislation in place by the time that the Cannabis Act comes into force.

The survey is open until September 22, 2017.  A series of public meetings are also scheduled to be held in September.  The GNWT will release a “What We Heard” document in the fall and the territorial legislative proposal is expected to be prepared by the end of October, 2017.

Keep checking back here for further provincial and municipal updates as they happen.

Photo courtesy of the Financial Post

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