November 21st, 2017

Ottawa’s plan for excise tax on medical marijuana draws ire of patients, producer


By The Canadian Press on November 10, 2017.

Growing flowers of cannabis intended for the medical marijuana market are shown at OrganiGram in Moncton, N.B., on April 14, 2016. Ottawa???s pot tax plan that would tax medical marijuana at the same rate as recreational has some medical marijuana patients and producers fuming after lobbying for months to have medical grade product treated more like a tax-free pharmaceuticals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Ward

OTTAWA – The federal government’s proposed plan to impose excise tax on medical marijuana as well as recreational cannabis has left patient advocate groups and a licensed producer fuming.

Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana and the Arthritis Society say medical pot should be treated the same way as all other prescription medications and be exempt from taxation.

The executive vice-president of licensed producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB) said Ottawa’s proposal unveiled today unfairly penalizes patients, calling it outrageous and wrong.

Cam Battley says sick people do not need the additional cost burden, and patient advocates have long been calling for the removal of existing sales tax on the drug as well.

Ottawa’s federal tax proposal to add an excise tax of $1 per gram of marijuana or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is higher, will undergo public consultation until next month.

Liberal MP Bill Blair says the federal government plans to tax both medical and recreational cannabis equally because it does not want to create an incentive for people to misuse the system to seek out cheaper product.


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