Hamilton could be getting about $1.6 million over two years from the province to prepare for the legalization of recreational marijuana use on Oct. 17.
However, there is expected to be about $81 million in funding over five years from the federal government offered to municipal police services to cover projected costs for training, the creation of a Cannabis Intelligence Co-ordination Centre and for public health education campaigns.
Brian McMullen, director of financial planning, said so far city staff has about $1.3 million in additional costs associated with the legalization of recreational marijuana. Those costs include $26,000 for a new vehicle and $220,000 to hire two new bylaw officials. Hamilton staff said the extra costs will impact bylaw and zoning issues, property standards and court time.
He said the province is offering $40 million to municipalities and it will be distributed to each municipality based on per household bases. McMullen said the police have not firmed up their number to address marijuana legalization.