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Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES) Response to 20% BC Tax on Cannabis Vapourizers and Associated Products

Vancouver – November 15, 2019 – On November 14, 2019 the BC provincial government announced that a tax rate of 20% would be applied to the following cannabis product categories:

  • vaping devices
  • cartridges
  • parts and accessories
  • vaping substances

ACCRES is disappointed by this policy choice. It’s counterintuitive to add a heavy tax burden to a sector that is already experiencing unusual downward margin pressures, pressures that are largely the result of regulatory decisions made by this administration.

This tax will have a negative impact on consumer buy-in to regulated products. BC is experiencing the lowest consumer buy in of all provinces in Canada. We need our provincial government to take measures to encourage consumer participation, not discourage it through higher and arbitrary taxation.

This ill-considered policy does nothing to further the project of legalization. Rather, it places an even greater burden on regulated retailers’ ability to compete with the existing illicit market ACCRES will be sending a letter to this effect to Premier John Horgan, Solicitor General Mike
Farnworth, and Finance Minister Carol James encouraging them to seriously re-examine this policy. We will use the letter to strongly suggest that reconsideration should include meaningful stakeholder consultation. Further to this, the letter will also encourage that the province to consider the federal recommendation to keep the tax burden at 10% or less.

We will add this to our policy forum on November 20th, 2019 for further industry discussion.