Manitoba premier urges recreational cannabis delay

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has been lobbying fellow provincial and territorial leaders to support a delayed launch of Canada’s recreational marijuana program by a year, from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019.

Pallister said he wants to put the program on hold for a year to give the nation more time to develop consistent policies on such issues as age minimums, distribution and zoning, the Toronto Star reported.

The adult-use legislation proposed by the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau gives the federal government authority over cannabis cultivation but leaves distribution methods, age questions and other regulatory issues up to provincial authorities.

Several premiers attending a meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, told the newspaper a delayed start would be helpful. However, they also said their goal is to have regulations ready by the July 1, 2018, target date.

“We’ve heard the prime minister say he was very firm on July 1 … so we’re working under the assumption that this will be the date. A lot of work needs to be done,” Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard told the Star.

However, some cities say they are ready for a 2018 launch.