Unlike food, cannabis will remain affordable next year.
The federal government has announced that legalized pot will cost $10 per gram when it becomes available to Canadians starting July 1, 2018.
According to a statement released after a semiannual meeting of Canada’s finance ministers, this “will support the Government’s goals for cannabis legalization, keep it out of the hands of kids and profits out of the hands of criminals.”
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the price could even dip below $10 a gram if it means eliminating the black market for weed. “It’s important for us to be responsive to the marketplace,” he said.
Details regarding the taxation of legal green were also released: 75 per cent will to provincial and territorial governments, and 25 per cent will go to the federal government. A one gram purchase ($10) will yield a $1 tax, while purchases of cannabis over $10 will be taxed 10 per cent. The federal government can receive up to $100 million in tax revenue a year, with any excess amount going to the provinces.
Estimates suggest Canada will benefit from around $400 million in tax revenues from the sale of legal marijuana. Costs to roll out the initiative, meanwhile, are expected to exceed revenues – $700 million a year for the federal government, and between $210 million and $335 million a year for municipalities.
“I thank my colleagues for their work. Canada’s Finance Ministers have a proven track record when in comes to working together, and this year’s meeting is yet another example,” said Minister of Finance Bill Morneau in summarizing ministers’ semiannual meeting.
“We have taken action on international tax evasion and money laundering, and we are moving forward with a better approach to cannabis and a stronger CPP. I look forward to continue building on this productive partnership in the months and years ahead.”
This may just be the cheapest way to live well.