B.C. municipalities are appealing for a share of future taxes to help cover the costs of regulating pot dispensaries, as marijuana looks set to become legal in Canada by next spring.
The cities of Duncan, Nelson and Prince George have each put forward resolutions to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention next month, suggesting that the UBCM petition the federal government to provide local governments with a portion of future federal or provincial tax collected through marijuana sales and distribution.
Duncan’s resolution suggests the tax-sharing concept be forwarded to the federal task force set up to design the new regulatory framework for marijuana.
“We want to make sure there aren’t negative impacts for municipalities. Different communities are dealing with it in different ways. It’s quite a mess out there right now,” Duncan Mayor Phil Kent said.
“If they’re going to allow storefront-type dispensaries, there’s going to be a competitive clamouring for space — and we would have to decide where they go. We want to be part of the conversation. So if they have a framework that affects us, they should be providing some revenue to support that.”
B.C.’s municipal politicians voted at their 2012 convention to lobby Ottawa to decriminalize pot and study the benefits of taxing and regulating cannabis.