Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues - 660 NEWS
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Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Growing flowers of cannabis intended for the medical marijuana market are shown at OrganiGram in Moncton, N.B., on April 14, 2016. Edmonton-based Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd. says it has hired one of its directors to map out its future cannabis strategy as Canada moves to make recreational pot legal by next July. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Ward

OTTAWA – The federal government has agreed to give the provinces and territories a 75 per cent share of the tax revenues from the sale of legalized marijuana.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement Monday after a day-long meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts.

The original model put forward by the federal government proposed an even 50-50 split, a plan that was immediately shot down by the provinces, many of which wondered aloud what sort of costs Ottawa would be incurring to deserve such a share.

Earlier Monday, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the federal Liberal government had successfully made the case that it, too, would have costs, but was showing flexibility on related revenue and cost-sharing questions.

After a meeting with his Atlantic counterparts in Halifax, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil let slip that a two-year deal had been reached, and that provinces would have the ability to include a markup above and beyond existing taxation levels.

Ottawa’s initial estimates suggest the total pot of tax revenue from marijuana sales could reach $1 billion per year.