Input Sought for Marijuana Regulation

With federal legislation to legalize marijuana expected within the next month, and regulatory development to follow soon after, UBCM is seeking membership input regarding a new regulatory regime. Responses to the survey will be accepted until Friday, April 28, 2017.

The legalization of marijuana was a campaign commitment of the Liberal Party of Canada in the 2015 federal election. Two priority resolutions (2016-A2 and 2016-A3) endorsed by UBCM delegates at the 2016 Convention highlight the challenges that local governments are facing as we await the promised legalization legislation. As UBCM prepares for the next stage of its advocacy with regard to marijuana legalization and regulation, we are seeking additional member input regarding the following issues:

  • Taxation and revenue sharing with local governments;
  • Federal and provincial consultation with local governments;
  • Local analysis of the Federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation’s final report, A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada;
  • The potential burden on local government departments or services that may result from the legalization of marijuana;
  • Existing local policies and bylaws to regulate marijuana;
  • Local attitudes towards personal cultivation and dispensaries;
  • Local preference for legalized marijuana distribution, regulatory oversight and enforcement; and,
  • Expected implementation timelines and other needs.

This survey is intended for local government elected officials and senior staff in British Columbia. Individuals with all levels of understanding are encouraged to participate in the survey, as it will enable UBCM to assess the information needs of its members.

UBCM will use information collected in conjunction with policy set by the membership to further its advocacy efforts, which thus far have included participation in a teleconference with Task Force Chair Anne McLellan; collaboration with FCM; and providing UBCM’s membership with opportunity to comment on the work of the Task Force. UBCM has also recently requested meetings with federal and provincial elected officials to discuss local government concerns and other important aspects of a new legalized marijuana regime.

Questions regarding this survey or UBCM’s advocacy related to marijuana may be directed to Bhar Sihota, UBCM Policy Analyst.

Background

In June 2016, responding to an election campaign promise, the federal government created a Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation. The Task Force released a discussion paper, Towards the Legalization, Regulation and Restriction of Access to Marijuana, and subsequently engaged with a range of stakeholders. In November 2016, the Task Force released its final report, which included 80+ recommendations providing insight into a potential framework for marijuana legalization and regulation.

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