Manitoba’s finance minister in a statement pleaded for an extension of the deadline, saying, he feels a little too rushed by the Trudeau government’s July 2018 timeline for legitimizing recreational marijuana.
As the deadline gets closer, Cameron Friesen said in a statement that there are still so many unrequited questions on subjects like enforcement, public safety and finding legitimate sources of marijuana. He reiterated that the work and high cost required to create a stable cannabis market, is dependent on the provinces.
There was a federal-provincial finance meeting in Ottawa, in which Friesen was speaking about examining the issue, inter alia, how to tax Canada’s approaching legal pot industry.
He stated that he brought the idea of extending the deadline to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, even though he did not say how much time was needed.
Provincial ministers are working on how to push Ottawa to make sure they receive a portion of pot-related tax revenue, which is fairly equivalent to the added cost provinces will have to assume on the road to legitimization.
According to Friesen, the Trudeau government’s enactment date is a significant matter.
“In respect of a July 1st, 2018, deadline, we are worried and we will express that upstairs. It feels rushed,” Friesen said before heading into the meeting.
“This is a very significant shift in how we will be operating. An adequate time to develop the tools that we will need as a province to be able to implement this the correct way, is very crucial.”
He also talked about a cannabis working group that has been assessing the next steps on vital affairs like consumption, taxation, sobriety tests and public awareness campaigns.
“We cannot have a half-baked cake here,” Friesen said. “We have to make sure that all of the necessary analysis is done.”
J C Loum