Ready or not, legalized pot is coming to Canada this summer — and Saskatchewan cities are getting prepared.
This week Regina’s executive committee will be reviewing a report outlining a framework for things like bylaws, zoning, business licenses and public safety costs.
Mayor Michael Fougere highlighted the cost of police enforcement as one issue raised in the report.
“We know for enforcement for the police and buying equipment and training and all that could be anywhere between $1.5 million to $2.3 million to do that,” Fougere explained on the 980 CJME Morning Show Tuesday.
He noted those costs are based on studies by police forces in other jurisdictions, such as Edmonton, so it will take time to understand the actual cost once legalization is in place.
He pointed out specialized training for police officers to recognize and charge drug-impaired drivers is only available in the U.S. right now.
“We’re also suggesting that we reaffirm with the province that we want part of the revenue from the sale of cannabis to come back to municipalities to cover those costs so it is not on the backs of taxpayers,” Fougere commented.
He said one-third of the revenue is a reasonable request for the province to share with municipalities.
The mayor also commented there are still outstanding questions which need to be answered by the province before municipalities can move ahead with drafting bylaws and zoning requirements.
One of the biggest questions to the province is the legal age limit for marijuana.
Regina is eligible for six new pot dispensary permits which will be awarded by the SLGA in a two-phase process.