Ontario not Banking on Marijuana Revenues for Spring Budget: Sousa

TORONTO — The Ontario government says it doesn’t expect to turn a profit on the sale of marijuana this year after recreational pot is legalized this summer.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the province will not be including a projection for pot revenues or profits in its upcoming spring budget.

Ontario is working on opening standalone stores to sell recreational marijuana once the drug is legalized.

Sousa says the cost to set up the stores and a distribution system, crack down on the illicit market and the need to keep prices for the product low will likely limit the province’s ability to make money on legal weed in the near future.

In December, the federal government agreed to give the provinces and territories a 75 per cent share of tax revenues from the sale of legalized marijuana. Sousa says the excise tax will be used to offset the start-up costs for the province’s retail stores and other activities around legalization.

He says the government will know better two years after legalization if recreational cannabis sales can be a money maker for the province.

The Canadian Press