The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday, Feb. 4, edition that the federal government says it has no plans to lower taxes on cannabis, even as other regions in North America embrace research that says lower levies may help eradicate the illegal pot trade.
The Globe's James Berkow writes that jurisdictions in the United States with legal cannabis markets are considering temporarily lowering pot taxes in hopes of encouraging consumers to migrate from the illicit market.
Recent research from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy argues that lower taxes in the early days of legalization gives the industry a chance to get on its feet. It also recommends phasing in cannabis taxes over time and allowing medicinal users to pay less than recreational users. The federal government, however, is not interested in following that advice.
Finance Department spokesman Anna Arneson says: "The taxation framework for cannabis products entails keeping duties low and working with the provinces and territories to maintain a co-ordinated approach to taxation. There are no planned changes to the existing duties at this time."
Ottawa also charges an extra $1-per-gram excise tax on all cannabis, recreational and medicinal.
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