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.

marijuanaUBCM

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two motorcycles crash on Nanaimo’s Terminal Avenue, one rider injured

Collision happened at 9 a.m. Thursday near Cypress Street intersection

Regional District of Nanaimo exploring mountain biking as an economic driver

Nanaimo Hospitality Association executive says coordinated trail network could lead to job creation

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Nanaimo’s Stone Soup association ordered to stop its backyard recycling

Wisteria association uses money raised to support its charity that feeds people on Wesley Street

Nanaimo Art Gallery summer campers explore private, public spaces in new show

Dazzle Camouflage participants to unveil painting and video projects online next week

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

‘Unstoppable’ Nanaimo nurse recognized for work caring for survivors of assault

Island Health’s Aimee Falkenberg receives Canadian Forensic Nurses Association’s Visionary Award

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Most Read