Quebec is stuck holding onto the costs of putting the new tax policy into action, they have said it wants more than 50% of potential marijuana excise tax revenues. “It won’t be 50-50,” Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitão reported. “This is just the opening shot. It will not be that at the end of the day.”
A conserved Leitão didn’t report what level of revenue Quebec will be satisfied with, reporting that the actual price per gram, specifically in the state-run system the provinces are creating to weaken the black market.
“We want to make sure the system, whatever it will be at the end, is flexible enough because we all understand that the price that will be set on day one will probably not be the same as on day 35 or day 62.”
The comments Leitão made came on the heels of a shocking move by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday. At a meeting in Ottawa, Trudeau expressed plans to impose a 10-per-cent federal excise tax on recreational pot. The anticipated revenue would be a 50-50 split with the provinces.
The provinces, including Quebec led by Premier Philippe Couillard, argued the formula is unacceptable because the provinces are bearing most of the costs.
Leitão made it clear even if Ottawa’s plan legalizing marijuana kicks in July 1, 2018, there is time to negotiate a proper financial agreement. The goal is to ink one when Canada’s finance ministers meet in December.
Similar to the other provinces, Quebec has been battling with the penalties of the policy for several months. Quebec wants adults 18+ to be allowed buy marijuana. Ontario has chosen for the age 19. On Wednesday, Alberta also commented the age should be 18. Ontario is trying to find a way at having its state-run system charge roughly $10 a gram. Quebec has yet to set an exact price.
In the National Assembly on Wednesday, despite, the opposition Coalition Avenir Québec continued its efforts on the age issue, calling on the government to make the age 21. Temporarily, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre on Wednesday also said, repeating his demand that the city also is allowed to its share of any revenue.
“I understand that Prime Minister Trudeau was talking about the issue of marijuana,” Coderre quoted. “That there could be a tax, we’re talking $1, and it would be (split) 50-50 with the provinces.
“I just want it remembered that with all of the impacts (legal marijuana) will have at the municipal level … municipalities also want some part of that (tax) to finance the resources that will be required.”
Under the federal proposal put to premiers during a first ministers meeting, a gram of marijuana would be substance to an excise tax of $1 on sales in an amount up to $10 and a 10-per-cent tax on sales greater than $10.