PROVINCIAL POT POLICY PUZZLES NEW COUNCIL
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.
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.
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.