New ‘cannabis strategy table,’ excise tax tweaks floated in Canada’s 2022 budget

The Canadian federal government is proposing a new “cannabis strategy table” to liaise with legal cannabis industry businesses in a new budget document released Thursday.

The budget also proposed potential changes to Canada’s federal excise tax system for cannabis.

The proposed strategy table is described as “an ongoing dialogue with businesses and stakeholders in the cannabis sector.”

It would “provide an opportunity for the government to hear from industry leaders and identify ways to work together to grow the legal cannabis sector in Canada,” according to the budget document.

The table would fall under the purview of Canada’s federal Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

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The proposed cannabis excise tax changes, described in supplementary budget materials released Thursday, include:

  • Allowing smaller cannabis producers to remit excise duties on a quarterly basis, rather than monthly.
  • Permitting cannabis production licensees to transfer excise duty stamps between them, along with allowing excise stamp agreements between licensed producers designed to address “inventory management issues and inefficiencies in the supply chain for the cannabis industry.”
  • Changing the penalty structure for lost excise duty stamps.

The proposed changes to Canada’s cannabis excise tax rules would not affect the actual excise tax rates, which have been the subject of complaints from the regulated marijuana industry.