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

Suspected spill kills hundreds of crayfish, coho in Langley river

A fish kill in the Nicomekl has a biologist concerned for the health of the local ecosystem.

Rams harvest sweet victory in win over Huskers

The Chilliwack team found itself pushed back again and again.

WATCH: Cops for Cancer bring message of hope to Langley school

Young cancer survivors are traveling with the fundraising bike ride.

Langley venue of glass provides bright stage for charity art show

West Fine Arts Show runs Friday to Sunday at South Langley’s Glass House Estate Winery.

Driver of pickup stolen from Langley crashes into car in Abbotsford

No serious injuries in collision on Monday night

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Aldergrove soccer forward enjoys scoring spree

UFV Cascades’ Jhaj named Canada West second star of the week

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by B.C. animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for shelter and local municipal election

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Lower Mainland city calls for slower trains near popular beach

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Most Read