Canada looks to raise $1b in recreational marijuana taxes

Friday, November 10, 2017

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OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) — Soon-to-be legal recreational marijuana sales in Canada could bring up to C$1 billion (US$800 million) annually into government coffers, an official said Friday.

"If the market is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 400,000 kilos (440 tons)... then the tax impact of that would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of C$1 billion," said MP and former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, who has been tasked with overseeing the setup of the new regime.

"That's a very high estimate, in my opinion," he added, stressing that the actual size of the recreational pot market is not yet known.

Ottawa is scheduled to legalise cannabis next July after having already permitted its use for medical care.

One of the major considerations in the country's cannabis taxation policy is to keep costs low enough to undercut the illicit pot market.

The authorities have proposed a 10 per cent excise tax on marijuana in addition to applying sales taxes of up to 15 per cent, with amounts varying across jurisdictions.

The proceeds would be split with the provinces, which have announced a patchwork of public and private sector retail sales for cannabis.




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