Marijuana: a manna worth up to a billion in Ottawa

The legalization of cannabis, scheduled for July 1, 2018, could bring up to a billion dollars in the coffers of the country, announced Friday the federal government.

“If the market is about 400,000 kilograms … then the tax benefits would be in the $ 1 billion range” a year, according to Bill Blair, MP and former Toronto Police Chief, now in charge the legalization of cannabis.

“This is a very high estimate,” because the size of the legal cannabis market remains difficult to predict, he nevertheless moderated during a press conference.

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last month, public finances will collect an excise duty of one Canadian dollar per gram of cannabis sold for less than $ 10. Beyond this price, this tax will increase to 10%.

The proceeds of this excise tax, according to the proposed legislative amendment, will be collected half by the federal government and the other half by the 10 provinces and three territories.

In addition to this excise tax – as is the case for wines and spirits, but also on tobacco – federal and provincial consumption taxes can be as high as 15%.

The federal government must put in place the regulatory framework that will allow provinces, in charge of organizing distribution channels, to sell legal cannabis as of July 1st.

The main challenge that the Justin Trudeau government has raised about its taxation is to be able to offer a product that is affordable enough to discourage buyers from turning to the black market.

Committed by the provinces, Ottawa turns to all citizens for their opinion on the potential revenue sharing that the legal sale of marijuana will generate.

The federal Department of Finance is submitting for public consultation, until December 7, its proposed excise tax of 10%, and at least $ 1, on the sale of cannabis.

The consultation will end in time for a meeting of the country’s finance ministers on December 10th and 11th.