With just a few days remaining before cannabis becomes legal in Canada, Manitobans finally know the penalty if caught smoking weed in public.
Smoking or vaporizing cannabis in any public place, whether enclosed or outdoors, will result in a $672 fine, according to a new regulation released by the Manitoba government Friday afternoon.
The same goes for cannabis smoking or vaping in indoor workplaces, group living facilities, public vehicles (such as a bus or a taxi) and work vehicles with more than two employees.
The new cannabis fines are set at $672 regardless of the number of offences, making them harsher than fines for smoking tobacco or vaporizing nicotine.
Comparable fines for tobacco start at $237 for a first offence, and escalate to $672 for three or more offences.
Earlier in the week, the Manitoba government announced some accommodations for legally registered users of medical cannabis. They’ll be allowed to smoke or vape in some outdoor public places, with a series of exceptions, including near the entrances to buildings accessible to the public, on or near restaurant or bar patios and in or near stadiums and playgrounds.
The new provincial fines follow other cannabis-related fines released in September, including a $2,542 penalty — the maximum pre-set fine on Manitoba’s books — for growing any number of cannabis plants without authorization from the federal government.
Solomon Israel is a full-time reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press and for two years, the lead writer for Free Press cannabis news site, The Leaf News. He continues to provide coverage of the cannabis beat while covering business in the city and province.
Updated on Friday, October 12, 2018 at 7:37 PM CDT: adds quote from minister
8:16 PM: Updates
October 13, 2018 at 7:51 AM: Final