· by Bianca Caramento
Addressing Regulatory Barriers Affecting the Cannabis Industry
A federal excise duty is payable by a licensed cannabis producer when the cannabis products they package are delivered to a provincially-authorized distributor or retailer. An excise stamp must be present on all legally produced cannabis products available for purchase. Only a person who has obtained a cannabis license from the Canada Revenue Agency (cultivators, producers, and packagers of cannabis products) are able to purchase cannabis excise stamps.
However, excise stamps present several challenges. The stamp must be adhered manually as it was not designed for automation, which is a time-consuming process. In addition, the stamps have a specific colour band and background for the province or territory in which the product is intended to be sold. The cannabis licensee packaging the product is responsible for determining and applying the appropriate excise stamp before the product can be sold legally.
Therefore, the government is currently contributing to the supply shortage, hampering this growing industry and undermining its own revenue generation through taxes on the sale of legal cannabis products.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce urges the Government of Canada to:
- Invest in Health Canada’s capacity to license facilities at an accelerated rate, while not compromising the inspection process.
- Develop a common excise stamp for licensed producers to adhere to cannabis products, thus allowing licensees to more efficiently ship products across the country.