Medical marijuana growers in British Columbia will be forbidden from cashing in on a lucrative tax break for agriculture companies.
The decision, which was announced Tuesday, came after several British Columbia mayors warned that commercial cannabis growers could sidestep paying up to 90% of their property taxes under the breaks.
The announcement will impact overhead expenses for the cannabis companies in British Columbia. It could also establish a precedent for how other provincial governments in Canada oversee cannabis companies.
James Poelzer of Agrima Botanicals, which is close to receiving its license from Health Canada to produce cannabis, said he was planning on applying for the tax breaks. Not having access to the breaks, he said, will not be a make-or-break issue for his company.
According to Ernie Daykin, mayor of Maple Ridge, a farm owner would pay several hundred dollars in annual taxes on a piece of land that – without the tax breaks – would require $30,000 in annual tax payments.