Canada provinces to get biggest cut of cannabis tax haul

After meeting in Ottawa with officials from the nation's 10 provinces and three territories, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he has agreed to give the provinces 75 percent of the monies.

Canada provinces to get biggest cut of cannabis tax haul

World Bulletin / News Desk

Canada agreed Monday to hand over a larger share of the expected tax haul from the legalization of recreational-use cannabis to regional governments, the finance minister announced.

Ottawa would retain 25 percent, he said, but would cap the amount it receives at Can$100 million (US$78 million) with any surplus going to the provinces.

The new split is to help the regions better "deal with their costs and also work with municipalities," Morneau told a press conference.

The regions had feared being saddled with the "significant expenses" of setting up distribution networks and enforcement, while having to split revenues 50-50 with Ottawa under the original plan.

They said they needed more funds to prepare police to deal with drug-impaired driving and crack down on illegal pot sales outside the regulated regime.

One of the major considerations in the country's cannabis taxation policy is to keep costs low enough to undercut the illicit pot market.

Cannabis is currently legally available in Canada for medicinal use with a prescription.

The legalization of recreational-use pot is set for July 1.

Ottawa last month said it expects excise taxes on recreational-use cannabis could bring up to Can$1 billion (US$778 million) annually into government coffers.

Morneau said Monday a new analysis determined a more modest tax take of Can$400 million (US$311 million).

The deal would be revisited in two years, Morneau added.

Manitoba province was the lone holdout, saying it needed more time to consider the proposal.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Aralık 2017, 11:12