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Updated: 12th September 2018 08:11

Legal weed will cost Calgary up to $12M a year and Nenshi wants feds and province to help pay

The legalization of cannabis is expected to cost the City of Calgary between $10 million and $12 million per year, and the mayor says he wants the federal and provincial governments to help foot the bill.

Higher levels of government should share revenue with municipalities to cover additional expenses, mayor says

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the legalization of marijuana will cost the city an extra $10 million to $12 million a year and he wants the federal and provincial governments to help foot that bill. (CBC/ Ron Ward/ Canadian Press)

The legalization of cannabis is expected to cost the City of Calgary between $10 million and $12 million per year, and the mayor says he wants the federal and provincial governments to help foot the bill.

"We don't really have a choice in the matter, so it's our job to be ready and we'll be ready, but it is a lot of work," Mayor Naheed Nenshi said of the city's preparations for next summer's roll-out of legal weed.

In addition to policing costs, the mayor said there will be bylaw enforcement costs and costs related to additional building inspections and land-use zoning issues for retail outlets.

To cover those costs, Nenshi wants the federal and provincial governments to share with cities some of the money they'll reap from the sale of marijuana.

"It's incredibly important that any revenue that is gained from cannabis sales — the excise tax on cannabis sales — be shared directly with the municipalities," he said.

Calgary is currently inviting public input on legal-marijuana policies.

So far, nearly 12,000 responses have been received.

City council plans to pass several bylaw amendments early in 2018 to prepare for legalized pot.

With files from Scott Dippel

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