Prairie cannabis shops seek Cannabis Act review to ensure more competitiveness in illegal market | Pro IQRA News

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The federal government began a review of the Cannabis Act that legalized cannabis in Canada four years ago.

The review should determine whether the legislation meets the needs and expectations of Canadians.

George Smitherman, president and CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada, said they welcome the study but urgently want legal cannabis producers to be freed from the tax and regulatory burden to ensure competition with the illegal cannabis industry.

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“Some of the areas where we really need to reform to better compete with the illegal market are to restore some measure of financial stability for licensed participants, give us more flexibility to communicate with consumers, and reduce some areas. hef the regulatory burden we live in,” Smitherman said.

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Kerry Michell, president of Farmer Jane Cannabis Co., says it’s great to see the positive economic and social impact of cannabis legalization on Canada.

“This accounts for approximately 11 billion in retail sales and currently over 90,000 jobs, which is quite significant. And we need to do everything we can to make sure we’re growing the sector in Canada,” said Michel.

Smitherman said each province has a different retail model, so excise tax and prices vary by province, but overall the excise tax is proving to be a bigger tax than originally promised.

“The promised tax was a 10% tax on cannabis products. But in many cases, we have taxes in the range of 30-35 percent.”

Michel and Smitherman said one of the biggest challenges they face is the THC limit for edibles, which is currently 10 mg per packet.

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Click to play video: 'Feds Begin Review of Canada's Cannabis Law'

Feds begin review of Canada’s Cannabis Act

Feds begin review of Canada’s Cannabis Act

“Currently, I believe that about two-thirds of consumers are turning to the illegal market, where they can find food products that are actually ten times the legal limit. A lot of times, they’re not made safely, and they’re not in the same dosage,” Michelle said.

He added that while Regina has been slow to grow its cannabis space, the market here is starting to become saturated with stores. “In November 2021, I think we had 16 stores and now we’re up to 30 and we’re still waiting for another eight to be built.”

Michell said the recommendation is one store per 10,000 residents, so that drops to 25 stores for Regina, which has about 250,000 people.

“We’ve seen some discounting, some national players come in and really reduce margins, which is great for consumers. There are great products out there that can compete with the illegal market,” he said.

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Smitherman said the combined effect of high taxes, heavy regulations and the resilience of the illegal market makes it difficult for businesses to rise in the legal cannabis industry.


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