The federal government of Canada may be willing to give the lion’s share of tax revenue from legal marijuana to the provinces and territories, The Canadian Press has learned.
On Nov. 10, the feds announced a proposal to apply an excise tax on marijuana at $1 per gram with the estimated revenue from the tariff expected to be $1 billion annually.
Originally, the federal government recommended the spoils from legal cannabis sales be split 50-50, but it has been reported that Finance Minister Bill Morneau has indicated they may be willing to increase the split for Canada’s provincial bodies.
Discussions amongst bureaucrats have been taking place in anticipation of an upcoming meeting between federal, provincial, and territorial finance ministers. The officials’ meetings will take place on Dec. 10-11.
Various municipalities and provinces repeatedly voiced their concerns regarding the extra costs associated with legalization. Some of the line items include police training, licensing applications, and construction of retail space.
The federal government has indicated that in order for the provinces to receive more of the tax revenue, the funds must be earmarked specifically for costs related to legalization, as opposed to other provincial and municipal needs.
“The federal government is sympathetic to the concerns of municipalities,” said one government official on the condition of anonymity.
A one-month public consultation period on the proposed tax is scheduled to end on Dec. 7, just ahead of the government meetings.
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett