Marijuana Politics

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City awaiting marijuana taxation revenue sharing plan

Since legalized marijuana began to be sold throughout British Columbia last October, B.C. municipalities are still waiting to hear how much cannabis related taxation money they'll be able to use. 

Having legal cannabis means some cities have seen extra costs related to the recreational addition, and are wondering if they'll have funds to pay for it. 

The delay in determining a solid plan for revenue sharing between the provincial and local governments has been slow for a number of reasons. 

The Ministry of the Attorney General admits significant funds from marijuana aren't expected right away, given the associated start-up costs with legalization, and only a few stores in operation. 


Budget 2019: Canada wants to tax cannabis edibles based on THC content

The Government of Canada released its Budget 2019 on Tuesday, outlining their plans for spending in the coming year. While this year’s version offered incentives to first-time homebuyersrelaxed interest rates for student loans, and other new investment/spending programs, a series of updates were issued for the regime that controls cannabis taxation.


Saskatchewan Budget 2019: Province expecting marijuana tax revenues to bring in $5M

The Government of Saskatchewan is banking on pot sales to make a small contribution to this year's bottom line.

The 2019-20 budget estimates the province will make $5 million this year, the first full year of legalization.

The province expects PST on pot sales will bring in $2 million while federal excise tax is expected to account for $3 million.

For the province to generate $2 million in PST, total pot sales would need to equal $33.3 million. in the first three months of legalization, Saskatchewan trailed the rest of the country in sales, bringing in only $2.5 million.

Like many jurisdictions, Saskatchewan marijuana sales were hindered by supply problems in the first months of legalization, with many stores closed due to lack of product. 


Local approval on pot use reaching new high

Months after marijuana sales became legal, public approval has reached a new high.

Close to 70 per cent of Lethbridge residents in the 18-to-29-year category now agree with the policy change, along with 57.2 per cent of all the men and women surveyed.

And a new study shows more than 90 per cent supported the drug’s use for medical purposes.

Public support for recreational use has increased from 43.9 per cent just four years ago, observes political scientist Faron Ellis. Under his supervision, students at Lethbridge College conducted a comprehensive “public policy” study in February.

It also found public support rising on several other issues in Lethbridge, including doctor-assisted death, same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to seek an abortion.


Most weed PSAs are terrible and ineffective. They don't have to be.

Smoking weed will not make hair grow out of your eyes, or out of your ears. It won't make your neck grow to twice its length, and it obviously won't make a new set of ears grow on the top of your head. “But,” goes the crux of a new public education campaign created by the provincial government of Quebec, “the risks are real.”


8 per cent of Six Nations cannabis sales have to go back to the community: new law

Six Nations has set a new cannabis law saying eight per cent of sales have to go to community projects. The territory's elected council passed a law Feb. 25 saying permit holders who produce, process, distribute or sell marijuana have to contribute to the community.

Eight per cent of gross cannabis sales at the end of the month will go to the elected council, says the new law.

Council will use that money to help with roads, parks, post-secondary education, the swimming pool or bowling alley, or other projects that help youth or elders.


Six Nations has set its own cannabis laws

Six Nations Elected Council has passed a law to regulate cannabis in its territory.

The band office conducted community consultations before approving the law that lays out regulations for marijuana cultivation, distribution, sales and use.

The 22-page document says the law is meant to "protect the health and safety" of Six Nations, the most populous First Nation in Canada.

It also says the regulations, approved last month, are also meant to "prevent interference by external law enforcement into Six Nations domestic affairs."

The law stipulates eight per cent of a vendor's sales must be handed over to the band office at the end of each month to go toward community projects.


Council to consider how to regulate pot use in Sudbury

Sudbury will become home to two new pot shops in the coming months, and city council is trying to determine how to address the increased presence of marijuana on the streets.

Earlier this year, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced the Nickel City would become home to a shop operated by Anton Lucic, which will open near Milestones restaurant, as well as a second outlet, operated by Saturninus Partners. A location for this retail shop has yet to be confirmed.


Recreational cannabis isn't the cash cow the government hoped for

This month the federal government sent the first cannabis excise tax payments to the provinces. But almost none of the amounts was disclosed. That’s likely because the cheques were smaller than officials had expected. But perhaps it’s also because medical cannabis clients think the taxes are unfair.

British Columbia is the only province so far to disclose its excise tax revenues: $1.3 million for October to December 2018. It had expected $50 million total this fiscal year, but now will be lucky to get $3 million. Other provinces haven’t disclosed their receipts. Manitoba didn’t even mention cannabis revenues in last week’s budget.

We can, however, estimate pot tax revenues using other data. First consider the federal government’s share.


2020 Democrats line up behind cannabis legalization

A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders want the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, reflecting a nationwide shift as more Americans look favourably on cannabis.

Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the "smart thing to do," says California Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor whose home state is the nation's largest legal pot shop. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a prominent legalization advocate on Capitol Hill, says the war on drugs has been a "war on people."

Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who appears poised to join the 2020 Democratic field, has written a book arguing marijuana legalization would hobble drug cartels. In an email to supporters this week, he called again to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.


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