B.C. says 50-50 pot tax split with feds not good enough, province needs more

VICTORIA - British Columbia says Ottawa's plans to split marijuana tax revenues on a 50-50-basis are not good enough for the province.

Finance Minister Carole James says the province bears most of the responsibilities for the costs of enforcing marijuana laws but is slated to receive only half of the revenue.

She says she will consult with her provincial counterparts about B.C.'s objections and make her views known to the federal government.

Ottawa is proposing an excise tax of $1 per gram of marijuana or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is higher, when recreational use of cannabis becomes legal in July.

James says B.C. and the other provinces must fund costly public education, prevention and police patrol programs.

The tax revenue split idea had already rankled premiers who complained this fall that their governments bear more of the costs for policing, distributing and regulating legal pot sales.

"I'm taking the federal minister at his word that this is a consultation and negotiation, so I'm looking forward to that conversation," said James. "To look at a 50-50 split when we're taking more of the share of responsibility here in B.C. just isn't fair and certainly isn't going to work for our province."


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