Cannabis Regulation

Local Government Survey on Incremental Cannabis Costs

The tracking of incremental costs has been of interest to provincial governments, including British Columbia. The Province is seeking evidence to support the assertion that local governments will incur tangible one-time and ongoing costs related to cannabis legalization. In May 2019, UBCM prepared a survey for local governments to quantify their incremental expenditures. Following an analysis of data, UBCM has prepared a report for the provincial government (below) that includes findings from the survey, and a recommendation for consideration. Based on findings from UBCM’s cannabis cost survey, policy (through endorsed resolutions), and developments throughout Canada, UBCM's report recommends that the Ministry of Finance transfer a portion of cannabis taxation revenue to local governments.

Findings from UBCM Cannabis Cost Survey [PDF - 845 KB] - Oct. 2019 (updated)

Cannabis Excise Tax Revenue Sharing

In December 2017, most provinces and territories signed the two-year Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agreement on Cannabis Taxation. The Agreement sees the federal government retain 25% of excise tax revenue (up to $100 million per year), with the remaining 75% or more going to provinces and territories. The federal share was reduced from 50% to 25% in recognition of the costs and responsibilities assumed by local governments. However, the federal government declined to directly provide local governments a share of excise tax revenue, leaving that responsibility to provinces and territories. As of September 2019, only Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have committed to cannabis taxation revenue sharing with local governments.

On September 13, 2018, the UBCM membership endorsed Special Resolution 1 (SR1): Cannabis Excise Tax Revenue Sharing with Local Governments. Admitted for debate by the UBCM Executive, this resolution seeks short- and long-term strategies to guide the negotiation of a provincial-local government cannabis excise tax revenue sharing agreement. These strategies are based on a principled approach designed to ensure local governments receive sufficient excise tax revenue to recover all incremental costs associated with legalization, and that all remaining revenue be shared between local governments and the Province.

The provincial government also applies a 15% mark-up on the landed price of cannabis, in addition to the federal excise tax.

Cannabis Production in the ALR

This information has moved here

Cannabis Legalization in Your Community: A Primer for Local Governments

UBCM has developed a broad guide examining local areas of responsibility, and other aspects of the non-medical cannabis regime that will impact local governments. The primer also includes a list of resources and provincial contacts.

2018-10-17 Cannabis Legalization in Your Community.pdf [PDF - 199 KB]

Legalization of Non-Medical Cannabis

Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation
UBCM and the provincial government have established the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation (JCCR), a forum for local governments to share their experiences and knowledge and discuss issues of interest or concern with the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat. The JCCR webpage includes all Committee reports, the Terms of Reference, and other pertinent documents. 

Federal Background Information

The federal government, in April 2017, introduced cannabis legalization and enforcement legislation, Bills C-45 (the Cannabis Act) and C-46 (amends the Criminal Code). Legislation places the federal government in charge of production, health and safety standards, and criminal prohibitions, as well as establishing minimum conditions that provincial legislation must meet to ensure consistency. The Cannabis Act came into force on October 17, 2018.

Provincial Background Information

The Province of British Columbia has enacted its own legislation for the legalization and regulation of non-medical cannabis, in the form of two new bills and key amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act. The Cannabis Distribution Act establishes the Province’s exclusive jurisdiction over the wholesale distribution of non-medical cannabis, and provides authority for public retail and online sales. The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) establishes provincial control over the sale, supply and possession of non-medical cannabis, and establishes licensing of private retailers. The CCLA also outlines restrictions over the possession, personal cultivation and public consumption of cannabis. Its Community Safety Unit has the authority to deal with illegal sales outside the legalized framework. Under the CCLA, the Community Safety Unit has the authority to enter illegal cannabis premises without a warrant, seize illegal product and records, and impose monetary fines. Changes to the Motor Vehicle Act will allow for a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition to be placed on drug-affected drivers, as well as impose a zero tolerance policy for the presence of THC for drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program.

Medical Cannabis

Released in 2013, the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulation (MMPR) took effect on April 1, 2014. The regulatory framework administered by Health Canada ended the practice of individuals growing medical marijuana in private dwellings by creating a licensing system for a limited number of third parties to produce and distribute medical marijuana.

Originally, only dried marijuana was to be produced, sold and possessed. This regulation was changed in June 2015, after the Supreme Court ruled that this restriction violated the right to liberty and security in a manner contrary to the principles of fundamental justice. This ruling game medical patients the right to access and produce other cannabis products. In February 2016, a federal judge struck down the federal regulations that had prohibited patients from growing their own medical cannabis. As a result of this ruling, the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) were introduced on August 24, 2016, thus replacing the MMPR.

Correspondence

UBCM to Minister Carole James re: Pre-Convention Meeting [PDF - 226 KB] - Oct 2019
UBCM to Minister Lana Popham re: Local Government Consultation on Bill 15 [PDF - 76 KB]
- May 2019
UBCM to Minister Doug Donaldson re: Cannabis Production in the ALR [PDF - 196 KB]
- May 2019
UBCM to Minister Carole James re: Cannabis Excise Tax Revenue Sharing [PDF - 77 KB]
 - Aug 2018
UBCM to Minister Carole James re: Cannabis Excise Tax Revenue Sharing [PDF - 76 KB] - June 2018
UBCM to Minister Doug Donaldson re: Cannabis Production on ALR Land [PDF - 93 KB] - May 2018
BC Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General to UBCM re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 467 KB]
– Apr 2017
Minister of Justice to UBCM re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 808 KB] – March 2017
UBCM to Bill Blair, MP re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 111 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to Minister of Health re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 111 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to Minister of Justice re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 111 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to BC Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 123 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to BC Minister of Justice & Attorney General re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 123 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to BC Minister of Health re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 123 KB] – Mar 2017
Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Secretariat to UBCM re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 498 KB] – Dec 2016
UBCM to Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Secretariat re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 432 KB] – Aug 2016

Articles

Cannabis Tax Revenue Advocacy - Sept. 2019
Deadline Extended to Complete Cannabis Cost Survey - June 2019
ALC No Longer Reviewing Cannabis Production - May 2019
For CFOs: Cannabis Costs Survey
- May 2019
Survey on Legalized Cannabis Costs
- Apr 2019
Consultation on Edible Cannabis Regulations
- Jan 2019
Cannabis Legalization Now in Force
- Oct 2018
Moving Ahead on Cannabis Legalization
- Sept 2018
Special Resolution Seeks Cannabis Tax Sharing Agreement
- Sept 2018
Cannabis Production on the ALR
- Aug 2018
Cannabis Retail Information for Local Governments
- Aug 2018
Cannabis Legalization Legislation Passes Final Vote
- June 2018
Senate Passes Bill C-45 with Amendments - June 2018
Legislation for Cannabis Control & Licensing, Distribution - May 2018
Cannabis Legalization Guide Released - Apr 2018
UBCM Principles for Cannabis Taxation - Mar 2018
Submission on ALR/ALC Revitalization - Mar 2018
Cannabis Regulations Safeguard Local Choice, Jurisdiction - Feb 2018
UBCM Submission on Cannabis Legalization - Dec 2017
Health Canada Consultation on Cannabis Regulation – Nov 2017
One Week Left for Cannabis Engagement – Oct 2017
UBCM Focused on Cannabis Legalization, Housing – Sep 2017
Local Governments, Stakeholders Discuss Cannabis Legalization – Sep 2017
Cannabis Legalization Update – Sep 2017
Analysis of Marijuana Survey – June 2017
Federal Marijuana Legislation Introduced – May 2017
Marijuana Survey Underway – April 2017
Update on Marijuana Legalization – April 2017
Input Sought for Marijuana Regulation – Mar 2017
Ruling Allows Municipal Regulation of Dispensaries – Feb 2017

Documents

Findings from UBCM Cannabis Cost Survey - Sept 2019
Cannabis Legalization in Your Community: A Primer for BC Local Governments
- Last updated Nov 2018
2018 UBCM Convention: Local Government Issues and Collaboration - Sept 2018
2018 UBCM Convention: BC's Approach to Cannabis Legalization & Regulation - Sept 2018
2018 UBCM Convention: UBCM Position on Excise Tax Revenue Sharing - Sept 2018
UBCM Presentation on Cannabis Production on the ALR [PDF - 817 KB]
- July 2018
UBCM Submission to Province re: Cannabis Legalization - Nov 2017
Survey Report [PDF - 1.5 MB]
 - May 2017

Relevant Legislation

Federal Bill C-45 - June 2018   
Federal Bill C-46 - June 2018
Provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Bill 30) - May 2018
Provincial Cannabis Distribution Act (Bill 31) - May 2018
Provincial Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (Bill 17) - May 2018

Contact

Bhar Sihota
Policy Analyst
bsihota@ubcm.ca
604 270 8226 ext. 114

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