PRO­VIN­CIAL POT POLICY PUZZLES NEW COUN­CIL

Tribune Express - - ACTUALITÉS NEWS - GREGG CHAM­BER­LAIN gregg.cham­ber­[email protected]

Cham­plain Town­ship coun­cil has un­til the end of Ja­nua­ry to de­cide whe­ther or not the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty will take part in the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment’s policy for al­lo­wing the sale of re­crea­tio­nal ma­ri­jua­na wi­thin town­ship boun­da­ries.

i*G XF PQU PVU u TBJE .BZPS /PSNBOE Rio­pel, “they (ma­ri­jua­na dealers) are not al­lo­wed to sell here. They can grow, but they can’t sell.”

Chief Ad­mi­nis­tra­tor Pau­la Knud­sen pre­sen­ted coun­cil du­ring a De­cem­ber 5 spe­cial mee­ting with a sum­ma­ry of the pro­vin­cial can­na­bis re­tail le­gis­la­tion.

The le­gis­la­tion in­cludes an “opt in/opt out” clause to help mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties de­cide if they want to al­low re­crea­tio­nal ma­ri­jua­na sales wi­thin their boun­da­ries. The clause of­fers li­mi­ted fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion for eve­ry mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty with a dead­line to de­cide by Ja­nua­ry 22 next year.

Fi­nan­cial “car­rot”

The policy gua­ran­tees that eve­ry mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty will get about $5,000 to help with the up­da­ting by­laws, trai­ning staff, and other ex­penses that will re­sult when re­crea­tio­nal ma­ri­jua­na sales move from on­line ac­cess on­ly now through the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment, to pu­blic sales out­lets next year.

The amount of sales is ex­pec­ted to in­crease, though both re­tail out­lets and users must still fol­low pro­vin­cial and fe­de­ral re­gu­la­tions for re­crea­tio­nal ma­ri­jua­na.

If a mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty chooses to not al­low re­tail ma­ri­jua­na out­lets wi­thin its bounds, it will re­ceive ano­ther $5,000 from the pro­vince, to help with costs to pre­pare for the im­pact of re­crea­tio­nal ma­ri­jua­na use wi­thin its area.

i8F IBWF SFHBSEMFTT XIFUIFS we opt in or out,” said Knud­sen.

Tax share? Maybe

But se­ve­ral coun­cil mem­bers no­ted that the town­ship would still have to deal with the po­ten­tial po­li­cing costs and other re­sults of people ei­ther going out­side the town­ship to buy their ma­ri­jua­na, or vi­si­tors co­ming in from other areas who bring ma­ri­jua­na with them.

The pro­vin­cial policy of­fers one in­cen­tive for mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties that al­lows re­tail ma­ri­jua­na out­lets in their areas. This in­cen­tive de­pends on how much the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment col­lects in ma­ri­jua­na sales tax over the next two years.

If the sales tax col­lec­ted to­tals more than

NJMMJPO BU UIF FOE PG UIFO UIF pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment will share half of any sur­plus amount among those mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties which op­ted in.

Knud­sen no­ted that the ma­ri­jua­na sales tax share of­fer de­pends on the to­tal re­ve­nue DPMMFDUFE EVSJOH BOE FYDFFEJOH

NJMMJPO *G UIF QSPWJODJBM UBY SFWFOVF JT MFTT UIBO NJMMJPO UIFSF JT OP TVSQMVT for the pro­vince to share.

Of­fer not so great

“Real­ly, the ‘car­rot’ is no­thing,” said Coun­cil­lor Sa­rah Bi­ge­low.

4IF OPUFE UIBU JG BMM NVOJDJQBMJUJFT ac­cept the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment’s opt in of­fer, then in­di­vi­dual shares of any sur­plus could be ve­ry small. Cham­plain Town­ship would still have the ex­pense of dea­ling with the so­cial im­pact of re­crea­tio­nal ma­ri­jua­na VTF .BZPS /PSNBOE 3JPQFM OPUFE UIBU Ca­na­da’s tou­rism sec­tor could see a boost now that ma­ri­jua­na is le­gal in this coun­try.

“There’s going to be a lot of vi­si­tors co­ming over for smo­king,” Mayor Rio­pel said. “I think the (sales tax) pot will be a lot big­ger than we think.”

Town­ship ad­mi­nis­tra­tion will re­search the is­sue more, in­clu­ding get­ting in­for­ma­tion on the tax re­ve­nue that the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment has col­lec­ted so far from on­line sales, and pro­vide coun­cil with a re­port for re­view, prior to the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment’s Ja­nua­ry 22 opt in/opt out dead­line.

—ar­chives

La vente de ma­ri­jua­na à des fins ré­créa­tives dans un point de vente du gou­ver­ne­ment pro­vin­cial ou par l’en­tre­mise de ma­ga­sins fran­chi­sés lo­caux se­rat-elle per­mise ou non dans le can­ton de Cham­plain ? Cette ques­tion a oc­cu­pé les membres du nou­veau conseil mu­ni­ci­pal lors d’une réunion spé­ciale te­nue le 5 dé­cembre, sans qu’au­cune ré­ponse dé­fi­ni­tive n’ait en­core été trou­vée.

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