I didn’t vote Liberal in the last election, and I have not been a fan of their free spending ways. The one promise Justin Trudeau made that I really liked was the promise to legalize marijuana. This promise was made before his election last November, giving all stake holders plenty of time to prepare for the implementation by July 2018. That’s why, when naysayers started calling for the change to be delayed, I was happy to see the CBC headline Ottawa sticks with July 2018 deadline to legalize pot despite provincial worries.
Manitoba’s finance minister Cameron Friesen said he felt rushed by Ottawa’s tight timeline and asked for an extension. He said the provinces are bearing the bulk of the work involved, as well as the “very real” costs needed to create a regulated cannabis market.
Typical. The government can’t start a new business with more than a year and a half notice. And they are worried about costs. Do they think it’s hard to make money selling pot?
“This is a very significant shift in how we’ll operate, and we need to have that adequate time to develop the tools that we will need as a province to be able to implement this the correct way.”
If you can’t figure this out, given that you have had four months if you waited for the legislation in April (and why didn’t you get started in November if you were worried about not having enough time?) and will have another entire year, you should probably resign, because you are incompetent.
Friesen raised the idea of an extension with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Later in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself snuffed out the idea. “We gave everybody lots of time,” Trudeau said. “We’ve been working for a long time with all the provinces, with the municipalities… It’s time for us to move forward on this.”
Yes! I hope you stick to this, Justin.
For provinces that aren’t ready in time for the fixed date, Morneau said, Ottawa will oversee a mail-order sales program. Consumers would be able to buy pot through a federally licensed producer and receive home delivery.
Sweet. Maybe get Amazon involved. Drone deliveries?
Morneau said the ministers agreed to the principle that pot taxation should stay low to ensure the regulated market squeezes out the illegal activity. The challenge will be identifying the sweet spot — where pot prices are high enough to cover government costs, but cheap enough to beat out the black market.
Seems straightforward. Just discount the current price in Vancouver by 25%. If the criminals drop their prices to compete, consider lowering taxes further. Be agile.
Morneau added that they have yet to determine how tax revenues would be shared between provinces and the federal government.
Should be 100% provincial, in my opinion. All the feds are doing is changing the law to make it legal. Though if they are selling in provinces too incompetent to get ready within the next year, the federal government should get all the tax revenue.
“We’re going to be asking for fairness and flexibility, so that when there are some possible revenues that come from this that it’s properly shared,” Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said.
“When there are some possible revenues”? You have got to be kidding. You aren’t certain that there is money to be made selling pot?
His Quebec counterpart, Carlos Leitao, said the provinces should receive most of the tax revenue from legalized pot because they will “have to shoulder most of the costs of putting in place regulations.”
How can the cost of “putting in place regulations” be close to even a small slice of the profits from selling the pot?
The federal government argued that marijuana prohibition is very expensive and that legalization could significantly cut down on costs.
And once more, some sanity from the federal government. Keep up the good work on legalization!