Recreational marijuana sales become legal across Canada in October. (Black Press files)

B.C. towns to premier: Show us the marijuana money

Local governments face enforcement costs, pressure on farmland

Local governments facing new marijuana regulation and enforcement cost are seeking up to half of the provincial revenues from recreational sales that are set to begin in October.

Resolutions to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention offer multiple suggestions to the B.C. government, an issue likely to dominate the annual gathering of local and provincial politicians in Whistler Sept. 10-14.

Communities face costs “including but not limited to policing, licensing, enforcement, zoning and zoning enforcement, by-laws and by-law enforcement and possible health issues,” and should get half of the province’s revenue, says a resolution from the village of Tahsis.

Nelson and Pemberton resolutions also call for a 50-50 split in revenue, which the province estimated in its February budget at $50 million for the balance of 2018-19 and $75 million for full years following that.

Provinces negotiated a 75 per cent share of revenues with Ottawa in May, with similar arguments about the burden of policing and regulating cannabis stores. The federal government is placing an excise tax of $1 a gram on all recreational sales.

B.C. has decided to allow private stores, many already operating, plus a chain of government retail outlets to start opening by Oct. 17 and a monopoly on wholesale supply.

RELATED: B.C. waits to add ‘craft cannabis’ to stores

The B.C. government announced earlier this month that the Liquor Distribution Branch wholesale markup on cannabis will be 15 per cent, compared to 124 per cent for a bottle of hard liquor. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has emphasized that the retail price of legal marijuana must be kept low, or illegal producers will hold on to some of the market.

Other resolutions dealing with legalizing marijuana include:

• Delta council is calling for a provincial ban or restrictions on growing cannabis on agricultural land. Its resolution notes that it can be grown in greenhouses on existing industrial land, and only 1.1 per cent of B.C.’s land area is suitable for growing food.

• The City of Nelson has a resolution urging the province to allow leasing of Crown land to grow cannabis, also to preserve farmland for food crops.

• Langley Township’s resolution calls on the federal government to place similar restrictions on cannabis advertising as it has for tobacco sales.

• New Westminster council wants the province to harmonize smoking regulations applying to tobacco with smoking marijuana.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Columbia Valley RCMP searching for misisng person

Police ask for help in finding Elizabeth Stewart, who hasn’t contacted family since Jan. 14

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

Man seriously hurt after police shooting near Nelson

Incident has been reported to provincial police watchdog

Snow storm hits East Kootenay

Fernie expected to get the most accumulation at roughly 20-25 centimetres by the end of the day

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

East Kootenay illicit drug overdose deaths lowest in B.C.

Local expert credits harm reduction efforts; declares support for legalization of opioids

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read