Canada’s big cities want a slice of the pot pie when marijuana is legalized next July.
The mayors are asking for a third of the money that will be generated to be shared with municipalities.
“We are the ones, the municipalities – the order of government, where people are directly buying and selling. We have to think of the police, zoning, licensing and there is a cost associated with that,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said.
“We have to buy equipment for roadside testing, we have to train our police service to do that, so there is an immediate cost on July 1 that we think we really need to talk about.”
Fougere maintained having a share of the money generated from marijuana will help offset those costs instead of council having to increase property taxes to pay for it.
It is a sentiment echoed by Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark who pointed out it is municipalities who have to deal with the administration of pot sales.
“Where is this going to be sold, what zoning needs to be put in place, how are businesses going to be inspected to make sure they are following regulation, all (of that is) a municipal responsibility,” Clark explained.
“We are looking forward to getting some clarification from the provincial and federal governments on this.”
The provinces struck a deal with the federal government this week that 75 per cent of marijuana revenue will flow to the provinces.
Saskatchewan has yet to release its framework for the legalization of pot.
It becomes legal in Canada July 1.