The direct and indirect cost of legalizing cannabis keeps going north. Peel Health estimates the cost of public education and inspection services will top $500,000 annually. An update on post-legalization was presented to council by Dr. Jessica Hopkins, medical officer of health for the Region of Peel last week.
Policing costs are up and is expected to be between $6.3 and $9 million a year, based on methodology for determining increased costs related to cannabis legalization from the Canadian Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
The provincial funding commitment of $40 million to all municipalities over two years will only cover a portion of the costs associated with legalizing cannabis, according to the report.
Police services and public health education-related to creating awareness of the implications of recreational cannabis is a municipal responsibility.
With that in mind, Peel Health is currently partnering with the Peel District School Board to present professional development opportunities for school administrators and staff. The health unit is also reviewing evidence relating to the effect recreational cannabis has on one’s physical, mental and social health.
Adding to the cost are the trips health inspectors will have to make regarding cannabis complaints and inspecting retail stores as and when they open.
While Mississauga and Caledon have (wisely) opted out of licensed cannabis retail stores, Brampton jumped in quickly. -CINEWS