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Marijuana taxes will be low, says Morneau

Finance Minister says maximizing federal revenues is not priority; squeezing out the black market is.


 
A woman exhales while smoking a joint during the annual 420 marijuana rally on Parliament hill on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in Ottawa. Some teens say their likelihood of using weed hasn't changed since the Liberal government announced details of its legalization plan - though they say it's made them more aware of information on both sides of the debate.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

A woman exhales while smoking a joint during the annual 420 marijuana rally on Parliament hill on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

WASHINGTON – Here’s some good news for Canadian pot smokers: high taxes will not join the munchies, the pasties and short-term memory loss as unwelcome side effects of smoking up.

The Canadian government is hinting it wants to keep pot taxes low.

As the feds design tax policy for soon-to-be-legalized marijuana, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he has one main goal: squeezing out the black market.

He is adamant that maximizing federal revenues is not, and will not be, the priority on pot.

Those comments are a strong hint that Ottawa favours lower taxes on marijuana, to keep the price competitive against the street value and push the local pusher out of business.

A C.D. Howe report this month found 90 per cent of the illegal market would disappear if pot cost $9 per gram, and governments applied only existing sales taxes, producing $675 million a year in federal and provincial revenues.

But the report concluded illegal sales would retain half the market if governments tried squeezing $1 billion in revenue from the sale of marijuana.


 

Marijuana taxes will be low, says Morneau

  1. Even if the federal government does show restraint w.r.t. pot taxes, will the provincial governments do likewise? It’s not hard to imagine those provincial governments suffering large deficits treating pot like a tax cash cow.

  2. Why is is that cannabis related articles use language like, “…the munchies, the pasties and short-term memory loss as unwelcome side effects of smoking up.”?

    But alcohol related articles don’t use language like, “…the vomiting, the hangover and the liver damage from indulging in alcohol.”

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