Article by Morgan Smith, Global News
An Alberta-based cannabis producer wants to sit down with federal lawmakers to talk changes to the proposed tax on legal pot, unhappy with the idea of taxing medical marijuana.
On Friday, the Trudeau government revealed its draft plan to add a $1 per gram, or 10 per cent tax on total marijuana purchases, whichever is higher. That’s on top of any applied sales taxes.
Cam Batley, executive vice-president of Aurora Cannabis, said on the one hand, it’s good that Ottawa is trying to keep taxes low on recreational marijuana.
“Because we have to ensure that the price of consumer cannabis — that is legal, regulated, consumer cannabis — is competitive with the black market,” Batley said.
However, he also believes the federal government is “making a major mistake.”
“One of the proposals is to tax medical cannabis — that’s cannabis for patients with a prescription from their physicians. They want to tax that cannabis at the same rate as consumer cannabis.”
Batley called the decision “outrageous and wrong.”
“And in fact, we’ve been advocating for some time that the GST and HST be taken off medical cannabis because currently, it’s the only prescription medicine for which taxes apply,” Batley said. “So to have the federal government now proposing to add additional taxes to medical cannabis is really going to hurt a lot of people.”