Alberta finance minister on federal proposal to tax marijuana at $1 per gram
Public consultations on the proposal ongoing until Dec. 7
By Dave Dormer, CBC News Posted: Nov 10, 2017 1:04 PM MT Last Updated: Nov 10, 2017 1:44 PM MT
Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci is set to speak to reporters Friday afternoon on the federal government's revenue plan for marijuana when it is legalized next year.
Liberal MP Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief and the government's point man on legalizing marijuana, made public the federal tax proposal for legal pot Friday, kicking off a period of public consultations that ends Dec. 7.
The plan calls for an excise tax of $1 per gram for marijuana or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is higher, with the revenues to be divided equally between Ottawa and the provinces and territories.
That deadline, Blair said, gives the government just enough time to solicit comments on the proposal so that federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers can discuss it when they meet Dec. 10-11 in Ottawa.
Ceci will speak to reporters from the McDougall Centre in Calgary at 1:30 p.m.
United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney earlier described the proposed federal plan as "another tax grab."
"The higher the tax is, the more likely the legal product will be overpriced, which will encourage the black market," he told CBC News.
"My main concern is that we keep marijuana out of the hands of adolescents because the science is clear that it can have a retarding effect on adolescent brain development. So we have to do everything we can to minimize the black market."
Asked about the 50-50 revenue split between the federal and provincial governments, Kenney said that sounds "relatively fair," but the provinces should be getting a "lion's share."
"Unfortunately, it's the provinces that will pay all or most of the costs for law enforcement, for treatment for people with addictions and for related health problems," he said.
"So it seems to me the provinces should be getting the lion's share of the revenue."
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