Cities Want a Third of Cannabis Excise Tax Revenues

Article by Kyle Duggan, iPolitics

Cities want a third of cannabis excise tax revenues By Kyle Duggan. Growing cannabis plants intended for the medical marijuana market are shown at OrganiGram in Moncton, N.B., on April 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Ward

Canada’s cities say they want in on the federal government’s proposed excise tax on cannabis sales in Canada because they’ll have to bear the brunt of enforcement on the “front lines.”

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is asking that a full third of the proceeds of the Liberal government’s proposed excise tax go to municipalities, a call that comes just ahead of finance minister meetings this weekend.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities President Jenny Gerbasi said in a statement Wednesday that municipalities are on the “front lines” when it comes to “implementing the federal commitment to legalize cannabis across Canada.” She said that means setting a third of the revenues aside for cities would be “fair and achievable.”

“Legalization means significant new enforcement and operational costs for municipalities, for our local police and up to 17 different municipal departments,” she said.

“It makes sense to use cannabis excise tax revenues to ensure these costs don’t become a barrier to keeping Canadians safe.”

She said her lobby group will propose that figure tomorrow as part of the Ministry of Finance’s consultation on its cannabis tax plan.

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