Tax on medical marijuana 'unfortunate,' says P.E.I. grower

Posted by on 3/7/2018 to News
Tax on medical marijuana 'unfortunate,' says P.E.I. grower

Tax on medical marijuana 'unfortunate,' says P.E.I. grower

Ottawa to add $1 per gram excise tax on medical cannabis


The federal government is proposing to charge a $1 per gram excise tax on medical marijuana products.


Some members of the cannabis industry on P.E.I. are concerned with the federal government's plan to charge an excise tax on medical marijuana.

The proposal to charge $1 per gram on products sold in Canada was released in the federal budget last week.

'I think it's unfortunate because if you buy any other prescription drug on Prince Edward Island … you're not paying HST on it and you're not paying an excise tax on it, either.'— Edwin Jewell

It includes an exemption for cannabis that contains lower than 0.3 per cent THC, the psychoactive compound in the drug. 

Tommy Biggar, a co-owner at Island ReLeaf Glass in Summerside, and a medical marijuana user himself, says the plan is disappointing. 

"The thing that bothers me is, nobody else's medication is taxed. So medical patients are going to be taxed the same as recreational [users]."

He uses strains of marijuana low in THC so he won't face the excise tax, but he said most medical cannabis contains more than 0.3 per cent THC.

Edwin Jewell, president of Canada's Island Garden

Edwin Jewell, president of Canada's Island Garden, says he thinks medical marijuana should be treated the same as other prescription drugs.

Edwin Jewell, president of Canada's Island Garden — the province's only licensed grower — agrees with Biggar.

"I think it's unfortunate because if you buy any other prescription drug on Prince Edward Island … you're not paying HST on it and you're not paying an excise tax on it either," he said. 

"I think it's unfortunate for Islanders and Canadians as a whole that they'll be well-taxed on any cannabis they buy for sure."

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