City has spent more than .9M on cannabis-related costs since legalization
The city says it has incurred more than $6.9 million in cannabis-related costs since legalization last year — an amount that does not include spending on preparations undertaken in the six months prior to legal weed. The cost of responding to legalization has so far exceeded the $3.84 million that was provided to Calgary through the province’s Municipal Cannabis Transition Program, according to city data. Policing and enforcement costs make up the lion’s share of the city’s spending, but firefighters, bylaw and transit officers have also been tapped to respond to cannabis-related issues. City lawyers and staff working in business licensing and building regulations have also been closely involved in the file. Planners have also attended more than 100 appeal hearings held by the subdivision and development appeal board as would-be cannabis store operators flooded the city with applications. “Now we’ve got edibles as the next piece and who knows what other (changes) there is going to be at the federal and provincial level going forward,” said Matt Zabloski, the city’s lead on legalization. “Training of our officers is ongoing right now in terms of edibles and what that’s going to mean for them. We’ll see what all falls out in the next few months, but there’s certainly going to be ongoing costs, and whether there’s an end in sight for those is anybody’s guess.” Matt Zabloski, Business Strategist with Community Standards, outside the Council Chambers in Calgary on Monday, June 17, 2019. The city had originally projected that the cost of administering legalized pot from April 2018 to the end of this year would be approximately $10.4 million. “We do expect those costs to come down given that the implementation of cannabis legalization has been relatively smooth, but certainly it’s going to be significantly higher than the $3.84 million…
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