Kelowna: An equal share of any tax revenue for all three levels of government and a strong role for the private sector are among the key findings of a recent survey the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce conducted on the pending legalization of cannabis.
Asked how any tax revenues from the sale of cannabis should be divided, nearly 80% of respondents agreed that it should be split equally among all three levels of government, Federal, Provincial and Municipal.
One of the significant business issues identified through this survey and through other feedback is the pending impact on the labour market. There is concern that the cannabis industry – which is expected to pay above average in wages – could draw thousands of workers away from current employment. This would create a challenge for lower paid service sectors and that is something government officials should be aware of.
“We wanted to engage our members on the business aspects of legalization of cannabis,” says Tom Dyas, President of the Kelowna Chamber. “It is clear by the strong response we received at 13% of our 1,250 members that the business community is interested as this sector emerges, and has a number of concerns.”
Other survey findings suggest that the business community believes both distribution and sales should be handled with a combined private and public sector model. The majority of respondents were opposed to simply putting retail cannabis into government liquor stores.
On the issue of retail sales, respondents ranked limiting access by youth as their top priority, followed by robust training requirements for staff in retail operations. Finally, members surveyed responded that extensive consideration must be given to locating retail stores to avoid potential negative impact on individuals or the community.
The results have been forwarded to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General who conducted a province-wide consultation on the topic.
For more information:
Tom Dyas, President, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce