Medical cannabis patients fight back against government’s pot tax plan
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 8:29PM AST
Last Updated Monday, November 13, 2017 8:32PM AST
Medical cannabis patients have launched an online campaign urging the federal government to nip its taxation plan in the bud.
Ottawa is proposing a $1 per gram excise tax on all cannabis, recreational or medical, once it's legal.
“We do not want the taxation levels to be an incentive for people to utilize that system inappropriately,” Liberal MP Bill Blair said Friday. “We propose that the taxation levels for both non-medical and medical will be aligned.”
Medical cannabis user Gloria Boudreau estimates her marijuana will cost another $480 a year.
“The government is not seeming to take it as medicine. No medicine is taxed,” says Boudreau. “To tax CBD oil doesn't make sense either to their claims because no recreational user would want CBD oil.”
Boudreau rejects the idea that physicians would sign off on prescriptions for people who only want to use marijuana recreationally. She says it was difficult enough to get a legitimate prescription.
The federal government’s proposal is not sitting well with the Nova Scotia government, as it continues to work out the details on how it will distribute recreational cannabis.
Ottawa's plan is expected to raise up to $1 billion in tax revenue, and provinces say they deserve more than 50 per cent of the excise tax.
"The proposal does not address our previous concern about how big a share of the excise tax the federal government wants. Provinces are bearing the bulk of the costs associated with legalizing cannabis and should have a larger share," said Nova Scotia Finance Minister Karen Casey in a statement.
The chairman of Breathing Green Solutions, Nova Scotia’s only licenced medical marijuana producer, said in a statement to CTV News it is focusing on growing high quality, safe products and will leave tax policy to the government.
The province plans to take its concerns to the Trudeau government next month.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.