News Releases

NEWS RELEASE: 2017 Manitoba Cannabis Survey

LGA Releases Cannabis Survey Results
Safe driving and preventing underage use are top safety concerns

Today, the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (LGA) released the results of its 2017 Manitoba Cannabis Survey (click to view).

The LGA conducted this anonymous survey in September 2017 to build a full picture of who is using cannabis now, how often and how much they use, and how this might look different after legalization. The LGA also asked Manitobans about their expectations for information and public safety.

According to the survey, 21.4% of adults in the province used cannabis in the past year, and another 21.1% say that they plan to try cannabis when it becomes legal. Manitobans want to see clear rules around driving, preventing underage purchase and use, and locations where use is allowed. They also want public education to address the health risks of cannabis for adults and youth, and to provide information about responsible consumption.

“As a regulator, ensuring public safety is always our priority,” explains LGA Executive Director and CEO Rick Josephson. “It’s critical that we get information to current and potential users to make sure they’re equipped to make responsible choices when trying cannabis.”

Understanding current and potential use will help the LGA create regulatory standards, retailer training and public education. Josephson added, “Manitobans expect us to establish a practical regulatory framework for retail sales that reduces risks of harm. Knowing their concerns and current practices helps us target our efforts.”

The LGA regularly conducts liquor and gambling research in the province. The LGA launched this survey earlier in 2017 in anticipation of its expanded mandate to regulate cannabis.

The 2017 Manitoba Cannabis Survey report (click to view) and an infographic of key findings (click to view) are available at



New campaign encourages young Manitobans to always bring ID when visiting licensed establishments

March 27, 2017

Today, the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (LGA) launched a public education campaign to encourage young adults living in rural Manitoba to bring identification (ID) when they visit bars, restaurants or liquor stores. The campaign also reminds staff in licensed establishments to check the ID of youthful-looking patrons.

“Checking ID is a matter of public safety,” explains LGA CEO Rick Josephson, adding that all licensees are required by law to ask for ID from anyone who appears to be a minor.

The LGA says that unlike in cities, where the majority of patrons expect to be asked for ID in licensed establishments, inspectors have noted that those living in rural areas sometimes leave their ID at home.

“Rural bars and restaurants have a different dynamic than those in Winnipeg,” said Coralee Dolyniuk, Executive Director of the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association. “In smaller towns, it can be awkward for servers or bartenders to ask for ID from patrons who are potentially friends, neighbors or family members.”

Added Scott Jocelyn, President and CEO of the Manitoba Hotel Association, “We appreciate the LGA’s efforts to help the public understand that if a patron appears to be a minor, liquor servers and salespeople need to verify their age by requesting ID. By asking for ID, our employees are just following the law.”

The campaign features youthful-looking individuals and the tagline, we must ask for valid ID, even if we know you. It will run for six weeks and include billboards and posters predominately in rural Manitoba. Messages will also be featured online through social media and high-traffic websites oriented to young adults.

“This campaign is a great reminder to both licensees and their customers that you must always bring ID, no matter how old you are and no matter who you may know working in the licensed establishment,” says Josephson.

For more information, please visit


NEWS RELEASE: Smart Choices

New Responsible Liquor Service Training Program Available Now

January 3, 2017

Smart Choices, a new training program for hospitality industry employees, launched January 2, 2017. Smart Choices replaces Serving It Safe and the Problem Gambling Assistance Program. Manitoba’s liquor and gaming regulator, the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (LGA), and the Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC) have partnered to develop and deliver the online program.

Smart Choices focuses on current laws, safety requirements, and responsible strategies when serving or selling liquor. “The focus is safety,” explains LGA Executive Director and CEO Rick Josephson, adding that liquor servers and salespeople can protect themselves and their customers by understanding and following the law. Smart Choices also features new elements to increase awareness about problem gambling, drink‑spiking and sexual assault, and Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines. Manitoba is among the first provinces in Canada to incorporate these elements into responsible service training.

While responsible service training has been required for restaurants, lounges and other service establishments since the 1990s, the same standard now applies to liquor retailers, including managers, security and staff at beer vendors, Liquor Marts, liquor vendors and specialty wine stores. Josephson explains, “Requiring the same training for all licensees creates a level playing field and results in standardized knowledge in the hospitality industry. This approach also gives employees the flexibility to move around the industry without the need for additional training.”

Smart Choices certification will be valid for five years from the date a person completes the program. The LGA is also offering a five-year grace period to anyone who has already completed Serving It Safe or the former It’s Good Business training program through MTEC.

The LGA consulted broadly with Manitobans, including hospitality industry representatives, as part of the development of Manitoba’s new liquor laws in 2014. The LGA has communicated with all retail and service licensees about Smart Choices.

Additional Quotes

“We see the new comprehensive Smart Choices program as an effective way to reach out to hospitality workers across the province. Our hope is this new training program will help to get support information into the hands of even more Manitobans who are struggling with alcohol and gambling.”
~ Ben Fry, CEO, Addictions Foundation of Manitoba

“Our managers, staff and security are continuously placed in difficult situations and faced with new issues. Staying on top of current trends and keeping knowledge up-to-date protects all staff working in restaurant environments.”
~ Coralee Dolyniuk, Executive Director, Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association

 “We were pleased to work with the LGA to ensure that the transition to Smart Choices will be as seamless as possible for the hospitality industry.”
~ Scott Jocelyn, President and CEO, Manitoba Hotel Association

For more information, visit


NEWS RELEASE: It’s Not How, It’s How Many

New awareness campaign encourages young adults to think about their drinking

November 25, 2014

Manitoba’s new liquor and gaming regulator is launching its first public education campaign targeted at young adult Manitobans.

The Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (LGA) is offering an online quiz and an interactive tool to encourage Manitobans ages 18 to 24 who drink alcohol to consider how and when they consume it. The campaign will help them make responsible decisions by promoting Canada’s national Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. Following these guidelines helps Canadians reduce the long-term health risks of drinking and the more immediate risks such as dangerous driving, intoxication, injury, violent behaviour and social embarrassment.

Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines were developed by a team of independent Canadian and international experts in partnership with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. All provinces, including Manitoba, have endorsed the guidelines. Manitoba is the first province to promote the guidelines through a province-wide public education campaign.

“As Chair of the committee for a Manitoba Alcohol Strategy, I applaud the LGA initiative to raise public awareness about responsible alcohol use and ensure a common understanding of what constitutes sensible drinking,” said Dr. Michael Routledge, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.

“Reducing the negative health impacts of alcohol consumption is an important step in preventing injury and chronic disease for Manitobans,” he added.

The LGA says the campaign encourages young adults to keep track of the number of drinks they consume on a single special occasion and weekly basis, and to understand how much alcohol is in a standard drink. In keeping with harm reduction strategies, part of the LGA’s role is to educate Manitobans about the responsible consumption of alcohol and responsible gambling.

“This campaign will give young adults the tools they need to make their own responsible drinking choices,” said Rick Josephson, the LGA’s Chief Executive Officer. “We know from our provincial research that the majority of young adults understand the risks associated with drinking and driving, but they do not always think about the other risks of drinking alcohol.”

“The province-wide campaign will target 18 to 24 year old Manitobans who choose to drink alcohol at a time of year when holiday parties and socializing are top of mind,” he added.

The Know My Limits campaign features the statement, “it’s not how, it’s how many” and depicts young adults consuming alcohol in unusual or humorous ways.

The campaign website,, explains Canada’s weekly and special occasion guidelines, provides specific information about the risks of drinking alcohol, and features a quiz to help young adults profile their drinking behaviour and share it with friends in a factual yet provocative way. An interactive simulator gives them the chance to see how their pouring skills measure up.

Research shows that many young adults tend to drink alcohol at parties or while hanging out with friends at home, rather than in a bar or other licensed establishment where drink sizes are measured and regulated. The simulator will show them how much beer, wine or hard liquor they’ve poured, and whether it’s above or below the standard unit size for the guidelines, so that they can be better aware of how many drinks they’re actually pouring.

The website also includes tips to reduce the risks associated with drinking alcohol, like monitoring and setting limits, alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and eating before and during drinking. All creative materials include a tagline that reminds Manitobans to “Always drink responsibly.”

The campaign will run in English and French province-wide in radio, transit, public space, post-secondary newspapers, liquor retailers, and movie theatres for a six-week period from late November 2014 to early January 2015. Messages will also be prominent online through social media and high-traffic websites oriented to young adults.

For more information, visit