Pubdate: Fri, 24 Nov 2017
Source: Journal-Pioneer, The (CN PI)
Copyright: 2017 Journal-Pioneer
Author: Teresa Wright
Page: A1


Trudeau still "working with provinces" on legal pot

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is still working with the
provinces when it comes to how legal marijuana administration costs
will be funded.

During a visit to P.E.I. Thursday, Trudeau said discussions are
ongoing on legal cannabis with the provinces after premiers were cool
to the idea of splitting the revenue of a proposed excise tax 50-50
with Ottawa.

"We continue to work with all provinces and territories and
municipalities to ensure we bring in a strong legalized framework
around cannabis in order to protect our kids, in order to keep the
criminal organizations and gangs from making the billions of dollars
in profits that they are," Trudeau told reporters in P.E.I. Thursday.

The federal government has proposed an excise tax of $1 per gram of
marijuana or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is
higher, with the revenues to be divided equally between Ottawa and the
provinces and territories.

But, when this was floated to premiers at their most recent joint
meeting with Trudeau last month, the premiers were resistant.

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan and other premiers across Canada have
argued the provinces will be shouldering the majority of the costs of
regulating and enforcing legalized marijuana.

But when pressed Thursday for specifics on funding for the provinces
for implementing a pot legalization regime, Trudeau remained vague.

"We continue to work with provinces," he said.

Regardless, MacLauchlan has said P.E.I. will be prepared to meet the
federal timeline for cannabis legalization on July 1, 2018.

Provincial legislation will be tabled in the spring.
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