Municipalities are united in the demand for revenues from the province to deal with arrival of marijuana retail sales next year, say the mayors of Kelowna and West Kelowna.—Image: Pixabay

Kelowna, West Kelowna asking for one-third of pot revenues

West Kelowna to initiate a letter-writing campaign to press for money from province

Kelowna’s mayor says what he heard from the province Tuesday about the rules regarding the distribution and planned retail method for marijuana in B.C. once the federal government makes it legal across Canada July, 1, 2018 was fine.

But it was what he didn’t hear that concerns him

Colin Basran said Wednesday the announcement fell short in that it did not address the contentious issue of cost-sharing with the municipalities, an issue he said is a unanimous request among cities and towns across B.C.

And he added the issue of how the private sector will be involved in the retailing of the drug also needs to be clarified sooner rather than later.

“Will it be dispensaries or not. We just don’t know,” said Basran.

The province announced the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch will handle the wholesale distribution of marijuana in the province once it is legalized next July and it will be sold by both government stores and private retailers.

Basran said the clock is ticking for municipalities to learn how much, if any, of the revenues generated by marijuana sales will go to municipalities to handle issues like zoning, enforcement, inspection and other issues associated with allowing stores that sell the drug in the city.

West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater expressed the same concern.

He said while his council had not favoured private retailers in the input it gave to the province, if it is to be allowed municipalities must get money to make it work.

Both he and Basran said they favor an equal split among the federal, provincial and municipal governments, of one-third each.

Findlater said his council plans to write a letter to the province proposing that and will try and generate a letter-writing campaign supporting that position by all other municipalities in B.C.

The move to write the letter and start the campaign will be discussed at West Kelowna council’s next meeting Dec. 12.

What the province announced on Tuesday does fit with what Kelowna city council wanted—as expressed in its input to the government—with the exception of the revenue sharing and specifics about the retail structure.

Basran said he feared if the province waits too long to let municipalities know how it plans to proceed on those two important issues, Kelowna may not be ready in time to deal with allowing private retailers by July 1.

“It involves zoning and enforcement, and those are two areas where the city is already pretty busy,” he said.

Meanwhile, despite the province saying there will be some sort of private retail allowed, Basran said his city has no intention of stopping its move to get a court injunction to shut down existing private marijuana dispensaries operating illegally in the city.

In West Kelowna, the RCMP has picked up the issue and has written to all the dispensaries operating there warning them to shut down or face the consequences of operating an illegal business.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Peachland councillor announces bid for mayor

Keith Thom says after four years on council, he feels he’s ready

Defence minister in Kelowna to talk to flood relief soldiers

Canadian Army has 300 soldiers on the Okanagan and Grand Folks areas to help with flood relief

Kelowna’s Fat Cat Children’s Festival gearing up for its 28th year

The popular two-day kid-focused festival will take place in Waterfront Park

World of Wheels spins through Peachland

World of Wheels brings thousands for a day of family fun

Kelowna’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club beats the water

They pitched in and managed to get the upper hand on a soggy situation

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

Kelsey Serwa brings back KSer golf tourney

Tournament at Gallagher’s Canyon Aug. 24 to benefit graduating high school athletes

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

Cat stuck on telephone pole in the South Okanagan rescued

FortisBC rescued a cat stuck on a telephone pole in Kaleden

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Kelowna sailors stay the course at COSA Regatta

38th Annual Springtime Regatta was held over the May long weekend on Okanagan Lake.

Most Read