The Regina chief of police is letting the City know a price tag is looming when it comes to pot legalization.
Chief Evan Bray provided a rough estimate of costs to the City of Regina’s executive committee on Wednesday.
Bray said the price tag could be between 1.2 and 1.8 million dollars for the first year, but admits that estimate could change.
“We don’t know a lot of things about the legalization and what that’s going to look like yet, some of the law hasn’t even been determined yet,” Bray said.
He mentioned there are still unknowns when it comes to what type of equipment they will need to perform roadside impairment tests and training for front-line officers. Currently, nine officers have received the proper drug enforcement training.
Bray said the estimated costs come from resources put forward by different police services across the country, which is about two per cent of their overall budget.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure that it will be that much for the Regina Police Service, but it is a bit of a moving target.”
Bray said another of the unknowns surrounding pot is the police’s role in distribution. He noted there has been rumours police will need to be involved in quality control for dispensaries to ensure the product dispensaries are selling is from a legal source.
Regina was awarded six pot dispensaries by the province once marijuana becomes legal.
Bray said he can’t comment on if it is an appropriate amount for the city but said it’s important there’s enough to keep up with the demand.
“I would worry about once it’s legalized, this is going to be available in the city of Regina and not having enough access for people to purchase it legally means that people will find other ways to purchase,” he said.
“And that drives that black market, which is a concern for us as well.”
Bray said the one area they will remain vigilant is when it comes to the safety of children and want to ensure the drug stays out of the schools.
The federal government hasn’t set a firm date for legalization but it is expected this spring.