Manitoba’s Cannabis Laws Undercut Potential Cannabis Tourism Revenues
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, on October 17, 2018, Canada federally legalized the recreational consumption of Cannabis.* The reasons for legalization are well known, and include reducing the burden on the criminal justice system, keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and criminals, and most notably for my purposes, to generate tax revenue. The Cannabis Act gave provinces the power to determine methods of regulation, sale, and distribution in their province. If the province wants to maximize its tax revenue, it is doing a poor job creating an environment conducive to out-of-town visitors coming to experience the province’s legal cannabis. This is because essentially the only place to legally consume cannabis in Manitoba, unlike other provinces, is within a private residence, which tourists do not have access to; thus, Manitoba is losing out on potentially millions of dollars in tax revenue.
*The Cannabis Act, SC 2018, c 16.