November 14, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Cannabis Canada, and the licensed producers of medical cannabis it represents, share the Government of Canada’s commitment to regulating and restricting access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of youth, and the profits out of the hands of criminals.
In establishing a taxation regime for cannabis, Governments need to be mindful not to impose taxes that will make it impossible for legal Licensed Producers to compete with the black market. The Parliamentary Budget Officer of Canada pointed out in his November 2016 report that “the higher the premium for legal cannabis over the illicit price, the more Canadians will purchase cannabis on the illicit market.” Using the same research, the C.D. Howe Institute estimates that even a relatively modest $1 per gram premium would result in about 35 percent of the market remaining in the black market.
Cannabis Canada notes and welcomes the Government intention to continue to consult on the proposed new taxation regime on cannabis. The Association will take every opportunity to highlight to the Government the importance of ensuring that legal cannabis is cost competitive with products available through the well-entrenched black market.
With the advent of legalization, Governments also need to ensure continued, proper access for patients to medical cannabis, as ruled by Canadian courts. Without a medical system, Canadian patients may lose whatever insurance coverage they have for cannabis (public or private), making their prescribed medication even more financially inaccessible. Cannabis Canada is disappointed by the federal government’s proposal to place an excise tax on medical cannabis and strongly encourages both the federal and provincial governments to ensure medical cannabis is affordable by making it exempt from both the excise tax and GST/HST.
Cannabis Canada is the leading organization of Canada’s Licensed Producers of Medical Cannabis under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
The Association’s mission is to act as the national voice for our members in their promotion of industry standards; support the development, growth and integrity of the regulated cannabis industry; and serve as an important resource on issues related to the safe and responsible use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes.
Members of Cannabis Canada share a philosophy of both patient-centric care and improved public health, and are committed to product safety and quality, secure and reliable access and the promotion of the safe and healthful use of cannabis.
Executive Director, Cannabis Canada Association