British Columbia to apply 20% tax on cannabis vape products

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British Columbia plans to slap a 20% tax on retail sales of vaping products, including cannabis.

The proposed tax is intended to restrict vapor product access, flavors, nicotine content, packaging and advertising, the province announced this week.

B.C.’s move would make legal products less competitive than those sold in the illicit market, potentially keeping sales away from the watchful eyes of health regulators, experts warn.

Dried cannabis, extracts not for use in a vaping device, edibles and topical marijuana products will be subject to the standard 7% provincial sales tax.

The 20% tax will apply to all vape products, including:

  • Vaping devices.
  • Cartridges, parts and accessories.
  • Vaping substances.

The B.C. government says it will introduce legislation later this month.

The new rate will take effect Jan. 1, 2020, pending a public comment period and legislative approval.

Edibles, extracts and topical cannabis products are expected to trickle into stores across Canada starting at the end of this year, but wider distribution is not expected until 2020.

Martin Landry, an analyst for Montreal-based GMP Securities, expects vape pens to eventually take up 20% of extracts sales followed by edibles (15%), beverages (10%) and other products (5%).

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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