Bill Morneau has a deal with his provincial and territorial counterparts when it comes to sharing tax revenue from recreational marijuana that’s scheduled to become legal next July.
The agreement gives the provinces and territories a 75% share as compared to the 50-50 proposal the federal finance minister made just last month.
Heading into today’s meeting in Ottawa, the provincial ministers had insisted on a greater share, arguing provinces and municipalities would take on the majority of costs for police enforcement, health care and education programs once pot’s legalized.
Prior to the deal, Ontario’s Charles Sousa said some provinces felt uneasy about the uncertainty of how the legalization will be rolled out.
Sousa says the price for marijuana must match or exceed the illegal price in order to meet the objective of shutting down the black market.
After a meeting with his Atlantic counterparts, Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil let it slip that it’s a two-year deal and that the premiers would have the ability to include a markup above and beyond existing tax levels.
Initial estimates from the federal government suggest the tax revenue from marijuana sales could reach as much as $1-billion-a-year.