Article by David Brown, Lift News
The Union of BC Municipalities will once again be discussing cannabis legalization at their upcoming annual convention being held this year in Vancouver. The convention will take place from Sept 25-29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The UBCM is preparing an executive resolution for debate at the 2017 convention that will seek to provide direction to members in expectation of what is described as “an intensive twelve months of consultation in development of the made in BC approach.” This will be intended to complement the two resolutions passed in 2016 that asked for more local control in the decision making process surrounding legalization and the tax revenue stream for legal cannabis.
The resolution to be discussed, Section Resolution 1 (SR1), Local Government Role in BC Framework for Cannabis, asks the UBCM membership to endorse a policy of “fulsome and meaningful provincial consultation with local governments, provision of adequate provincial funding to cover any responsibilities and increase in administrative burden of any provincial framework that requires local government participation, equitable sharing of tax revenues from cannabis between all orders of government; and respect for local choice, jurisdiction and authority, including but not limited to land use and zoning decisions.”
This will essentially be an affirmation of the two resolutions from 2016 which were unanimously passed. Local control of legalization has been a major concern for all provinces and municipalities as the expected enforcement of many aspects of legalization like age limits, home production, public consumption, distribution and retail sales and zoning, etc., all fall upon these jurisdictions to manage.
In addition to this new resolution, UBCM will be looking at two other resolutions (B88 and C2). The first, Resolution B88, presented by the city of Delta, BC, seeks funding to properly train drug recognition experts to manage any issues with cannabis and impaired driving, while Resolution C2, presented by North Vancouver, requests that the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia include “local and First Nation governments” in the tax regime recommended by the federal government’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation.