The Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) is calling on the federal and provincial governments to share the cannabis excise tax revenue with municipalities. In doing so, MBOT supports a recent move by the City of Mississauga to ask senior levels of government to share the wealth when it comes to marijuana.
Both the city and MBOT believe they need the funds to offset costs of the new legal-cannabis system in Canada, such as monitoring regulations and enforcement of updated laws.
“Cities shouldn’t be on the hook for increased costs because senior levels of government have made policy decisions beyond their control,” said David Wojcik, MBOT president. “Mississauga should get a cut from the excise tax to help it deal with the local impact of cannabis legalization and enforcement.”
An MBOT committee has been studying the issue since it became part of the federal Liberal government agenda. The committee has been looking into impairment in the workplace issues as well as the retail sales plan proposed by Queen’s Park. While MBOT is concerned about these issues, it understands the reality of it happening and supports the city’s viewpoint.
For their part, Mississauga councillors are concerned about having to absorb costs associated with zoning, bylaw enforcement , licensing, public health and policing without a clear picture on the amount of revenue they will share in on the sale of cannabis, if any.
“To date there has not yet been a formal commitment to the amount of revenue that will be shared with municipalities,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “This is concerning as municipalities across Canada work to prepare for the rapidly approaching July 2018 legalization date.”