Pot taxes could add up to $1 billion and would be split with the provinces: Ottawa (video)

According to thestar.com, By TONDA MACCHARLES, Ottawa Bureau reporter: The federal government admits provinces could set higher excise tax but wants “coordinated” approach to keep the black market out.

OTTAWA—The federal government formally rolled out details Friday of its tax plan for legalized marijuana, proposing a combined federal-provincial excise tax capped at 10 per cent, or $1 per gram, with the revenue haul split equally with provinces.

In documents that urge a “coordinated approach” between federal and provincial/territorial governments, Ottawa implicitly acknowledged that provinces could move to set excise taxes higher, but said that would fail to keep black market producers out.

And for the first time, the Liberal government provided its own estimate of what the combined tax take could be.

At the high end, the total haul — excise taxes plus the GST/HST or goods and services tax — could add up to $1 billion on a legalized market estimated at 400,000 kilograms of marijuana a year, said Bill Blair, the Liberal parliamentary secretary for justice and the point man on pot.

Blair downplayed that estimate as “very high,” but he did not provide a lowball estimate. He said overall, taxes — excise plus GST/HST — would add up to about 24 or 25 per cent of the retail market, but until pot is legalized, the government can only speculate what its size would be.

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