Marijuana stocks rally as Ottawa proposes legal weed tax of at least $1 per gram, plus GST – Financial Post

Ottawa and the provinces and territories could have another $1 billion a year in tax revenues to split after pot becomes legal next year.

Liberal MP Bill Blair, former Toronto police chief and the government’s point man on legalizing marijuana, made public the federal tax proposal for legal pot Friday, kicking off a period of public consultations that ends Dec. 7.

That, Blair said, gives the government just enough time to solicit comments on the proposal so that federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers can discuss it when they meet in Ottawa Dec. 10-11.

Marijuana stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange jumped on the news, with Aurora Cannabis Inc. leading the way with a 15 per cent surge. Canopy Growth Corp., the country’s largest weed company by market cap, rose 2.84 per cent around mid-day, while Cronos Group. Inc. and MedReleaf Corp. were up 6.6 per cent and 5.83 per cent, respectively.

The plan would add an excise tax of $1 per gram of marijuana or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is higher, with the revenues to be divided equally between Ottawa and the provinces and territories.

The final price, including provincial and federal sales taxes, would vary by jurisdiction, since the combined total is in some provinces is higher than in others. On an $8 gram of pot sold in Ontario, for instance, the final purchase price would be $10.17, with a $1 excise tax and $1.17 HST. In New Brunswick, it would be $10.35.

Alberta, which has no provincial sales taxes, could see the cheapest pot in the country at just $9.45 total for an $8 gram of weed.

“I’m very comfortable that the level of taxation that has been determined as appropriate in this case achieves our goals of keeping the price

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