MJ Biz: Canadian cannabis producers’ unpaid tax bills soar as industry seeks reform

Here’s the introduction to the piece

A growing number of Canadian cannabis businesses are failing to pay their federal excise taxes on time, a sign that companies are struggling and deferring their tax bill to meet more pressing needs – such as paying employees.

Industry officials said the unpaid taxes – nearly 100 million Canadian dollars ($72.4 million) for the first half of the federal fiscal year – are “a canary in the coal mine” signaling a financial crisis for licensed cannabis producers, and they’re urging the federal government to reconsider how the excise tax is calculated.

The figure is already significantly higher than last year’s total of CA$52.4 million.

Roughly 172 cannabis businesses had an excise tax deficit owed to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as of September – the halfway point for the federal government’s fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.

In September, 259 cannabis licensees were required to remit excise duty under the Excise Act.


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