Saskatchewan municipalities want to see pot revenue-sharing agreement

At the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) convention in Saskatoon this week, Premier Scott Moe said the province isn’t prepared to share the proceeds from cannabis sales at this time.

“There just isn’t a lot of revenues to talk about at this point in time,” Moe said. “At this point in time, we’re not open to that discussion but we’re always open to having discussions with our municipalities.”

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Moe said expenses at the provincial level have far exceeded any revenues collected to date, but those numbers aren’t being released ahead of the 2019 budget.

“If you go to last year’s budget, you’ll take note we didn’t include a revenue line or an expense line for the cannabis conversation as we just could not predict what those could be,” Moe added.

Under a temporary deal, Ottawa is sharing 75 per cent of the federal cannabis excise duty generated in the province, a tax paid by cannabis producers.

Customers pick up an additional five per cent GST and six per cent PST applied to the retail price at the till.

The question of whether the province should share a piece of the pie with municipalities is being raised in SUMA, with a resolution passed Monday night.

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“Municipalities have a direct expense for legalization,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said. “We have equipment for police service, training for them that directly affects taxpayers, and we don’t think taxpayers should subsidize legalization.”

Fougere added that municipalities want to see an agreement in place to split the revenue when it does come in.

“The expectation from the federal government is that the provinces would share with the municipalities,” Fougere said.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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