The federal government and provinces are having issues with the way they are implementing cannabis laws, and where the money made from sales is ending up.
About a year ago, the federal government and provinces talked about how they will split money made from taxes.
The decision they came to was that the federal government would take 25% of the money made by taxing sales of cannabis, and the provinces would hold onto the remaining 75%.
It’s been a bit over a month since Canada legalized cannabis and the two are already having issues handling the money coming in.
Federal programs are not seeing a big influx yet
The federal government vowed to spend the money collected from taxing cannabis on federal programs which would focus on education.
Health Canada dedicated over $62 million for programs that would support community organizations and Indigenous groups in educating their local population.
So far, only $6 million of that budget has been handed out to federal agencies so far.
Ottawa Public Health has been the most seriously hit organization, as it spent only $20,000 on campaigns to counter the negative effects of cannabis legalization.
Now, OPH is hoping that the funds dedicated to federal programs will reach their pockets too.
“We will be exploring provincial and federal funding opportunities,” wrote OPH spokesperson Robyn Muzik. We will be submitting our public health budget to the city and province in the new year.”
Two major federal programs are still waiting on the funding:
- The “Weed out the Risk” program for high schoolers;
- “Filling the Toolbox” program for teachers and educators.
Both programs are focused on teaching the younger generations, especially high schoolers, of the dangers and benefits cannabis use may bring.
Manitoba to lower the provincial deficit with cannabis taxes
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said that the province will not help its municipalities apply the new cannabis laws.
Pallister also said that the province would rather try to lower the provincial deficit with cannabis taxes, as well as that they need to curb government spending.
Pallister’s government has a freeze on municipal funding that has been in place for two years, and there doesn’t seem to be an end coming to it any time soon.
He also mentioned that there is no proof the returns from taxes will outgrow the amount spent on policing and upholding the new laws.