The topic of weed legalization in Canada has been a contentious one pretty much since the Liberal government announced it was happening. While a lot of Canadians were happy about it–lower incarceration rates, medical benefits, etc.–it’s proven to be quite the legislative headache. The feds made some guidelines, but then left it up to the provinces to figure out how to regulate and distribute the drug. They also gave them a July 1, 2018 deadline.
Provincial governments and police departments brought arguments to the federal government in September, saying that the time was insufficient to put a regulatory system in place and retrain police. Their response was basically, ‘I don’t know, man. Figure it out.’ Now the feds have come back with their plan for marijuana taxation and–like always happens with taxes–people have complaints.
The announcement Friday said that legal marijuana will be taxed $1 per gram (or 10 per cent on the total, whichever amount is higher) plus GST. They have yet to set a wholesale price. The revenue from taxes will be divided equally between the federal and provincial governments.
— 🇨🇦 Big Will 🇨🇦 (@WillontheRadio) November 10, 2017
— Jack MacLaren (@jackmaclaren1) November 10, 2017
Game over. The black market just won.https://t.co/F55FQrWScJ
— Harrison Jordan (@harjord) November 10, 2017
‘We continue to make progress towards a tax framework designed to keep prices low enough to put criminals out of business, while helping to offset the costs of education, administration and enforcement,’ a spokesman for federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said earlier in the week. It doesn’t seem as though they’ve really achieved that though.
Some premieres aren’t happy about the announcement either, particularly the 50-50 split between the federal and provincial levels. They argue that since the provincial governments will be doing the regulating, distributing, educating and policing, they should receive a larger cut of the tax revenue.
The issue is open for public comment until Dec. 7.