Proposed marijuana taxes too high, says Whitehorse proponent

Ottawa is proposing an excise tax of $1 per gram of cannabis, or 10 per cent of the total retail price, whichever is higher. 'I don't think that's fair at all to the common user,' says Mike Dobson.

'It's just going to push people back to the black market,' says Mike Dobson, who hopes to open a pot shop

Ottawa is proposing an excise tax of $1 per gram of cannabis, or 10 per cent of the total retail price, whichever is higher. Revenues would be split evenly between the federal government the provinces and territories. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

The federal government's proposed tax regime for cannabis sales is unfair and wouldn't eliminate the black market, says a man hoping to open a pot shop in Whitehorse.

Mike Dobson, who is also a user of medical marijuana, says the proposed taxes are too high.

"It's just going to push people back to the black market," he said.

Along with GST on cannabis sales, Ottawa is proposing an excise tax of $1 per gram of cannabis, or 10 per cent of the total retail price, whichever is higher. Revenues would be split evenly between the federal government the provinces and territories.

'I don't think that's fair at all to the common user,' said Mike Dobson, a medical marijuana user. (Mike Dobson)

"I don't think that's fair at all to the common user," Dobson said. "It's going to nothing for Justin Trudeau's mandate to try and eliminate the sales from the black market."

Dobson agrees that there should be an excise tax on cannabis sales, but says it should be more moderate than what is being proposed.

It should be one or two per cent on total sales, or ten to 15 cents per gram, instead of $1, Dobson says.

"Just the wording of that will scare away potential customers from the stores," he said.

Dobson has talked about opening a dispensary in Whitehorse if and when pot becomes legal. He said when he tried in the past, it became obvious the city and the police would not let it happen.

The federal government's proposed tax regime is open to comment by the public until Dec. 7.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.