The battle to exempt medicinal cannabis from excise taxes

Medical marijuana users set lobbying push on federal cannabis tax proposal

Medical marijuana patients are bracing for an uphill battle in their bid to convince the federal government to exempt medicinal cannabis from excise taxes.

RELATED: Taxes go up on fuel, booze and cigarettes on April 1

Their lobbying effort will begin once MPs start debating the government’s budget implementation bill, which in its current form would apply the taxes to all but a small group of cannabis-based drugs.

Patients and doctors groups fear that as a result, those cannabis medications not exempted from the tax will be too expensive for patients who already struggle to make ends meet.

They say they are planning to lobby federal officials to change the bill before it becomes law.

RELATED: Federal budget fosters pharmacare, pot-based drugs

Gerald Major, president of the Canadian Spondylitis Association, says he and other patient advocates plan to push federal officials for a change, even though the Liberal government has so far refused to budge.

The government says exempting medicinal cannabis could lead to abuse of the existing medical marijuana system.

The Canadian Press

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