No immediate windfall from cannabis revenue after legalization: Alberta premier

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to media before the Speech from the Throne, in Edmonton on March 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta’s premier is warning that there will be no immediate tax windfall once recreational marijuana use becomes legal this year.

For the first time, cannabis revenue is being factored in to Alberta’s budget.

READ MORE: Highlights from Alberta Budget 2018

Alberta expects to take in $26 million in taxes once recreational marijuana is legalized.

But Premier Rachel Notley says Alberta expects to be in a net loss when it comes to marijuana revenue for at least two years.

READ MORE: Liberal plan to legalize pot survives Senate vote

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has expressed concern that, so far, there has been no mention of cannabis revenue sharing with municipalities.

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Notley says any initial money will be used to adjust to the change in federal law and focus on community safety.

READ MORE: Doobie dos and dont’s: Alberta outlines rules for retail marijuana sales

“We (will) focus on keeping the product away from kids and that we keep the black market out of the distribution of this product,” said Notley. “The distribution of any remaining funds after we’ve got the system in place, we will deal with then.”

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