Letter: Government seeking feedback on cannabis regulation and taxation

Editor: The Liberal government was elected on a platform that included a commitment to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis. This commitment was a reflection of the fact that the current approach to cannabis doesn’t work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth. That is why our government introduced Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act. Public health and safety are at the core of this approach.

To ensure that this legislation reflects the views of Canadians, our government has launched two consultations: one regarding proposals on taxation of cannabis and one regarding the regulation of cannabis. As your Member of Parliament, I want to ensure you are aware of these consultations so that you can submit your feedback.

Regarding taxation of cannabis, it is the federal government’s view that the total federal and provincial-territorial taxes on cannabis products should not exceed $1 per gram, or 10 per cent of the producer’s sale price of a product, and that this tax should be shared equally between the two levels of government. The proposed federal excise duty rate would be 50 cents per gram of cannabis, or five per cent of the producer’s sale price of that product. An additional rate would apply for an agreeing province or territory.

The proposed duty would apply to all cannabis products available for legal sale, including fresh and dried cannabis, cannabis oils, as well as seeds and seedlings for home cultivation. The rate will also apply to the sale of medical cannabis. It is important to note that excise duties are not paid directly by consumers. Rather, they are paid by manufacturers.

In addition to the excise duty paid by suppliers, cannabis product sales will also be taxable under the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as is currently the case for medical cannabis.

I encourage those in our community who have an interest in the government’s proposals for taxation of cannabis to have their say by submitting feedback to: fin.cannabis-taxation-cannabis.fin@canada.ca or by visiting the Department of Fincance website before Dec. 7.

Our government has also launched a second consultation on the regulatory framework for cannabis. Health Canada is seek feedback on how best to regulate, among other things, the licensing of cannabis cultivation and processing and standards for products, packaging and labelling.

Should constituents wish to participate in this second consultation, I encourage them to submit feedback to cannabis@canada.ca or to visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-proposed-approach-regulation-cannabis.html before Jan. 20, 2018 to read the consultation paper and submit their feedback.

John Aldag, MP,

Cloverdale-Langley City

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