Cannabis Front and Centre for UBCM
Prince George, B.C.- When the Union of B.C. Municipalities delegates gather in September for their annual convention, they will be asked to endorse a special resolution that pertains to cannabis.
The UBCM will be presenting a special resolution calling for more direct involvement for municipalities that will have to deal with issues that emerge in the wake of legalization.
The federal government intends to legalize cannabis by July of next year, but the UBCM says there has been little consultation with local governments on the development and implementation of a BC framework for dealing with the changes.
Lack of consultation on this matter is an issue says UBCM President Murry Krause “Local governments are quite concerned, the deadline is approaching , we don’t know what local governments’ responsibility is going to be. So it really is about hoping we will hear more substantive information from the Federal Government.”
Krause says the Province may not have all the information it needs either “So as this rolls down hill, the Province should have time to review it (legislation) in detail, then will be having conversations with local government’s on how we ( communities) manage it.”.
In its resolution the UBCM says it is likely “that a substantial portion of the regulatory burden and associated costs—for example, in the areas of compliance and enforcement—will fall on local government.”
With that in mind, the resolution calls for:
• fulsome and meaningful provincial consultation with local governments;
• provision of adequate provincial funding to cover any responsibilities and increase in administrative burden of any provincial framework that requires local government participation;
• equitable sharing of tax revenues from cannabis between all orders of government; and
• respect for local choice, jurisdiction and authority, including but not limited to land use and zoning decisions.
The resolution will be the first to be dealt with when the convention gets down to business on the 27th of September.