(Cannabis Council of Canada) Ottawa — October 17th, the Cannabis Council of Canada (“C3”) gathered leaders from across the cannabis industry to call on the government of Canada for urgent action to protect the public health, public safety, and job gains of cannabis legalization.
Part of its Grass on the Hill initiative, C3 will be joined by sector CEOs and leaders for a series of meetings with senior government officials and decision makers on the challenges facing the sector and the need for immediate relief measures.
“Four years since legalization in Canada, the cannabis industry is at a crossroads and is calling on the federal government to enact changes that will enable it to compete with the unbridled, untaxed and unregulated illicit market.” — George Smitherman, president and CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada
“We have appreciated the openness of the government and parliamentarians to discuss these pressing issues and we hope our presence in Ottawa this week further signals the need for urgent action.” — Myrna Gillis, CEO of Nova-Scotia-based Aqualitas and a C3 board member
Legalization has been a success for Canadians and for federal and provincial and territorial governments, creating over 45,000 industry jobs and generating $15+ billion in revenues for governments as of 2021.
“The federal government must take responsibility for ensuring a sustainable Canadian cannabis industry. This cannot be done without federal and provincial/territorial government discussions that will include industry leaders to harmonize some of our practices.” — Pierre Leclerc, director general of the association québécoise pour le cannabis
“Cannabis job creators are under threat from the systemic failure of small and medium sized businesses who cannot sustain themselves while paying excise taxes, government mark-ups and regulatory fees.” — Dan Sutton, CEO of B.C.-based Tantalus Labs and leader of the “Stand for Craft” industry coalition and a C3 Member
“If government does not intervene now with emergency relief on the way to broader reform, expect the continued failure of cannabis firms of all sizes and the consequences – lost jobs, lost investments, and lost rural economic renewal.” — Mark Ripa, CEO of Ancaster, Ont.-based A B Laboratories and a C3 Member
The industry is asking the government of Canada to work with its provincial counterparts to restore the cannabis excise tax to its original premise of 10 per cent, and is asking Health Canada to immediately suspend collection of the annual regulatory fee (2.3 per cent of topline revenues) pending advice from the statutory review of the Cannabis Act or the industry strategy table announced in the federal government’s budget 2022.