PIXABAY PHOTO                                The Village of Port Alice received a response from Minister and Deputy Premier Carol James regarding future cannabis tax revenue.

PIXABAY PHOTO The Village of Port Alice received a response from Minister and Deputy Premier Carol James regarding future cannabis tax revenue.

Province responds to Port Alice cannabis concerns

Village requesting province share cannabis revenue with local governments

Port Alice is one of many municipalities across the province who have sent letters requesting the provincial government share revenue from the sale of cannabis with local governments.

On March 28, the village received a response from Minister and Deputy Premier Carol James, which was read at Port Alice’s regular council meeting April 11.

“The federal and provincial governments intent is to keep cannabis taxes low to support the objective of reducing illicit market activity,” wrote James. “As such, it is expected that cannabis taxation revenues will not generate significant provincial revenues.”

James also explained the Joint Provincial and Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation is currently developing a provincial regulatory framework.

“Once the regulatory framework is fully developed, the province and local governments will be better positioned to determine incremental spending expected as a result of cannabis legalization,” wrote James.

Port Alice’s original correspondence was addressed to Mike Farnsworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“The legalization of cannabis will have a significant impact on local governments who will have significant costs preparing and administrating bylaws and policies,”wrote Port Alice Mayor Jan Allen in the March 1 letter.

“The financial burden on local governments will include social services, land use planning, business, bylaw enforcement, etc,” wrote Allen, who added “The Village of Port Alice respectfully requests that the province share at least 50 per cent of the revenue from the sale of cannabis with local governments to help off-set some local cost associated with its legalization.”

James said the province recognizes the legalization of cannabis will lead to additional costs for local governments.

“We will be able to have more informed discussions once full details of the regulatory and taxation regimes are known and governments have more certainty in terms if expected future costs and revenues,” she wrote.