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Winnipeg, MB– Yesterday the Government of Manitoba announced that it will be applying a 6% tax on cannabis retailers in the province. The 6% tax will apply to gross revenue, and is stated to generate funds to cover the costs of public education, health, and addiction. 

David Clement, Toronto-based North American Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), said: "While wanting to recover costs seems like an appropriate policy, its problematic to implement this tax without any forecast of what those costs will be. At the end of the day this tax is just added to the already burdensome list of taxes that cannabis consumers have to pay."

"Canadian cannabis consumers are already overtaxed and this just makes the situation worse. The Federal Government has announced over half a billion dollars in additional taxes and fees, all of which will be paid for by consumers. When buying cannabis in Manitoba consumers will be paying the 10% excise tax on cannabis, the 8% provincial sales tax, the 5% federal sales tax, and now this additional 6% social responsibility fee," said Clement.

"Overtaxing cannabis is counterproductive to the goals of public safety and public health. As taxation increases, naturally prices are going to increase. As prices increase, consumers will be less likely to purchase cannabis legally, and more likely to purchase cannabis illegally. We know that 35% of cannabis consumers still purchase cannabis illegally, and this additional fee will just make that figure worse." said Clement.