Canada’s federal cannabis fees ‘make industry unsustainable, says Cannabis Council of Canada,

MJ Biz reports

Canadian cannabis executives are pleading with the federal government to offer relief to the fee and excise regime it imposes on the industry amid mounting job and financial losses.

The executives warned during a Wednesday news conference that without meaningful reform, more communities in Canada would face job losses such as those recently announced by Canopy Growth Corp. and others.

So far this year, Canadian cannabis producers have announced almost 1,000 job cuts, including:

  • 800 employees by Canopy in Smiths Falls, Ontario.
  • 85 jobs in Olds, Alberta, by Calgary-based producer and retailer SNDL.
  • 40 positions by Ontario-headquartered Aleafia Health.
  • 40 staff by Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Delta 9 Cannabis.

“We’ve seen in Smiths Falls, Ontario, and Olds, Alberta, the consequences of an administration of fees and taxes which makes our industry largely unsustainable,” George Smitherman, CEO of the industry group Cannabis Council of Canada, said during the news conference in Ottawa.

“Everywhere you look, someone’s put up a fee or a regulatory barrier or burden that in the collective sense is making it impossible for our sector to make the progress that was expected and sustainable in the long run.”

He would like to see an easing in the regulatory fee, which currently charges standard cultivation licensees 2.3% of their annual gross revenue from cannabis, or 23,000 Canadian dollars ($17,200), whichever is higher.

“The budget presents an opportunity for the government of Canada to send a message about its commitment to the sustainability of our sector,” Smitherman said.


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