With the legalization of marijuana in Canada just over a month away, cities across the country are trying to get their finances in order ahead of Oct. 17.
At the final Executive Policy Committee meeting before next months civic election, the City of Winnipeg revealed legalization is going to cost $1.76 million.
While the Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates municipalities will see legalization run them between $3- and $5-million per half million people, Winnipeg is anticipating significantly lower costs.
Most of Winnipeg’s estimate — $1.2 million — comes from extra costs associated with policing.
WATCH: Winnipeg police say legalized pot won’t deter drug dealers
The city’s fire and paramedic services say they’ll need another $140,000 to help respond to more service requests, which they anticipate will come when legalization arrives.
To offset the extra expenses, the city is looking at licensing fees and a differential business tax rate to bring in more revenue. The public service looked at a 15 per cent business tax specifically for cannabis retailers, which could bring in $63,000 to $84,000 in potential tax revenue.
Mayor Brian Bowman said he wants to see continued collaborative discussions with federal and provincial governments regarding distribution of the excise tax and funds earned on pot sales.
“I don’t want to see taxpayers and property owners having to subsidize pot, I don’t think that’s fair.”
Bowman said the precise revenue tools relating to pot sales have not yet been outlined by the province of Manitoba.
-With files from Diana Foxall