Pubdate: Tue, 30 Jan 2018
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2018 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Joyanne Pursaga
Page: 4


City forms committee to prepare for legal weed

The City of Winnipeg has formed a new committee to guide its pot

The Cannabis Co-ordination Committee will guide local preparations as
the feds prepare to legalize recreational marijuana sales, effective
July 1.

"The legalization of cannabis represents one of the most significant
legal, social and economic policy changes our country has seen since
prohibition and ... our municipal government needs to do everything we
can to be as ready as possible for its legalization later this year,"
said Mayor Brian Bowman.

Bowman said the city needs to ensure its rules reduce safety risks
associated with cannabis. The city will be responsible for zoning
regulations related to where the drug is sold, while its police
service will need to run enforcement on crimes like drugged driving.

Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface) will lead the committee, supported by
chief innovation officer Michael Legary on the administrative side.
The committee also includes councillors Mike Pagtakhan (Point
Douglas), Cindy Gilroy (Daniel Mcintyre) and Scott Gillingham (St.

But the province has yet to confirm what portion of federal pot tax
revenue could be passed on to the city to handle its pot-related

"All three levels of government are going to have costs and they're
going to be incremental to their existing services," said Bowman.

The federal government recently proposed giving provinces 75% of the
revenue from its $1-per-gram excise tax on pot, in part to ensure some
of that money is passed on to municipalities.

But Manitoba Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton said his
government is still pushing for a tax model that ensures government
pot isn't over-priced.

"Given our objective of ensuring price competitiveness and eliminating
the black market, combined with additional expenditures required for
health and education, there is limited room for new taxation,"wrote
Wharton in an email to The Sun.

The city's cannabis committee is expected to report to council's
executive policy committee with policy recommendations in the next few
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MAP posted-by: Matt