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Mayor Nenshi says province robbing cities with new cannabis revenue splitting plan

Calgary, AB, Canada / RTBN

If you managed to miss it, cannabis became legal on Wednesday and pot retailers across the country dealt with drones of eager customers, from the moment they opened after midnight.

It may be the “honeymoon period” in the cannabis retail world, but the crowds are promising for those who’ve decided to run or invest in cannabis businesses and stocks.

With all of the potential revenue Calgary may see from sales, Mayor Naheed Nenshi expressed concerns with how the Alberta government will distribute the profits.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Joe Ceci said the reasoning behind the distribution of revenue is because Alberta is expected to lose money over the first two years of pot legalization, which means money can’t be shared to help municipalities with the incurred costs from running the cannabis industry.

Mayor Nenshi says the province’s handling of the distribution of pot revenue is unfair to the city because the announcement was made just two days prior to cannabis legalization and only a month before his council must pass Calgary’s budget.

Nenshi said “it’s an absolute disgrace,” that the province will reap the benefits from the cannabis revenue with an excise tax and a sales tax, but cities will be left to foot the bill.

Last year, Premier Notley echoed  Ceci’s sentiment that Alberta won’t see a profit for at least two years.

Canada is only the second country to legalize cannabis nation-wide, after Uruguay did in Dec. 2013.

-Cindy Letic