With marijuana smoking for recreational purposes set to be legalized by the Canadian government next summer, it was only a matter of time before they announced plans to add an additional tax into the mix for marijuana purchased for recreational or medicinal use.
Currently medicinal marijuana is legal in Canada, but advocates for the drug jumped for joy earlier this year as the government introduced legislation to make it legal to smoke as a recreational drug as well.
The new proposed federal tax, would see buyers paying a dollar on every gram of pot purchased, or 10% of the final retail price, whichever is more.
Money gained from the marijuana tax would be shared between Ottawa, and the other Canadian provinces and territories.
The news of the proposed excise tax on medical marijuana as well as recreational cannabis is not going over well with advocates for the drug, and the Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana and the Arthritis Society released a statement in which they state that medical marijuana should be treated the same as other types of prescription medication.
“The use of medical cannabis should be recognized in line with all other prescription medications and accordingly exempt from taxation,” said Jonathan Zaid, the founder and executive director of CFAMM. “Patients have a fundamental right to have access to affordable medicine.”
The government’s main reason as to why they want to tax the drug, is to prevent people from taking advantage of the fact that it would be legal to purchase.
“Our government remains committed to maintaining a functional medical marijuana system and at the same time, we do not want the taxation levels to be an incentive for people to utilize that system inappropriately and so we propose that the taxation levels for both non medical and medical will be aligned,” stated Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice.