Starting October 17th marijuana is legal to grow, sell and to buy throughout Canada. Doesn’t matter if you are using it or not, cannabis is coming, it is already here and as of today, it is sold in your local stores and online. People are still debating if it is good for Canada, what effect will it have on the youth and if it was the right decision to legalize it, we have to face the fact – cannabis is legal.
Businesses across the country, from growers and retailers to the tech and tourism sectors, are preparing to reap a windfall from legal marijuana.
Winnipeg taxpayers will be forced to pay for the city’s new costs to legalize and enforce Cannabis laws if the province doesn’t pony up on the cannabis excise tax, says Mayor Brian Bowman.
On Monday, November 26th Prime Minister Brian Pallister told the Manitoba Municipal Association that the province would not share the excise revenues from the sale of cannabis with municipalities, including Winnipeg.
He argued that sales of cannabis would have no positive effect on the province’s income.
“There is no use in cannabis, and there is no evidence that there will be some profit for some time, so don’t ask for a share of the profit when there is no profit,” said Pallister on Monday at the RBC conference center.
Winnipeg’s Mayor Brian Bowman tweeted this announcement on Tuesday and continued this mood on Wednesday with a more detailed explanation.
“If you look at the experience of alcohol, governments collect a lot of money for alcohol; and a lot of money with tobacco. Cannabis will be the same,”said Bowman at the City Hall after the executive committee meeting.
“I do not know what the numbers will be in the end, Canadians will have to see them, ”he said.
The city estimates that legal cannabis will generate $ 1.6 million in revenues in a year. The municipalities of Manitoba want the provincial government to distribute the revenues from these excises, as some other provinces do.
The province also plans, starting in January, to impose a 6% retail tax charge on cannabis.
Brian Pallister gave no indication that his government will end a freeze on municipal funding that has been in place for two years. He also said there is no evidence that cannabis revenues will be greater than provincial costs for extra policing and other related issues. Association president Chris Goertzen says municipalities are dealing with extra costs of their own and deserve more money from the province.
When the federal government legalized cannabis earlier this year, it left the provinces in charge of how the drug will be sold and where consumers can smoke it. Some things are mostly constant across the country: You can’t buy cannabis if you’re under 18 (though you may have to be 19 in some provinces), you can grow up to four plants at home (except in Manitoba and Quebec, where you can’t) and you’ll be able to carry up to 30 grams outside your residence.
You can also share up to 30 grams of cannabis with other adults. The act, however, severely restricts underage people from possessing cannabis. You could face a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail if you give or sell cannabis to a youth, or if you use a youth to commit a “cannabis-related offense.” These are new criminal offenses.
It is completely up to every adult now to decide if they would like to legally buy and use marijuana, even share with adult friends. Fellow Winnipeggers let’s all be smart and responsible and make the best out of the cannabis legalization.