Legalizing Pot Will Have ‘Up-Front Costs,’ Task Force Head Warns

Article by Catherine Cullen, CBC News


Taxes on legal marijuana could add up to billions of dollars a year, but before that happens Canadians may have to make peace with spending to legalize pot.

“People — and I think the provinces, the territories and the government of Canada understand this — do not expect big revenues in the early years,” Anne McLellan, the head of Canada’s marijuana legalization and regulation task force, told CBC News.

“In fact, there are going to be up-front costs that governments at all levels are going to have to absorb.”

McLellan said both Colorado and Washington state had to spend to cover everything from public education campaigns to training for officials to manage the new regime. The nine-member task force visited the states as part of the research for its final report to the federal government in November. It has also travelled the country holding roundtable discussions with experts and held a public online consultation.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott told the United Nations that Canada will put its plan before Parliament in the spring of 2017.

Read full article here.

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