Nova Scotia Premier Won’t Say How Much in Budget Covers Costs of Cannabis

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is refusing to say how much money has been allocated in his government’s budget to cover the costs of implementing the sale of legalized cannabis.

The provincial government’s budget tabled Tuesday makes provision for just over two full-time equivalent positions in the Justice Department and McNeil says there is other money included in the fiscal document.

However, there doesn’t appear to be a specific line item for those costs.

McNeil won’t say how much money is included because the province is still in negotiations with federal officials over covering costs and it doesn’t want to reveal its “starting position.”

The government is relying on cash from marijuana sales to help it deliver a third consecutive balanced budget.

A fair portion of the estimated $29.4-million surplus in the 2018-19 budget is based roughly on $20.8 million in fresh taxes and duties from the projected sales of about 12 million grams of recreational cannabis.

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