Pot-tax warning from Alberta business group: ‘We don’t want to reinforce the black market’

A Calgary-based pro pot group says the federal government is walking a fine line with its proposed tax on pot at $1 per gram.

“We will be studying the proposed tax further, but generally, what is most important is that the tax and regulatory burden isn’t too high, or else it will reinforce the cannabis black market,” Lyndsay Blackett said.

Canadians could pay at least $1 per gram in weed tax, plus GST: feds

Blackett is a former Alberta Conservative cabinet minister. He’s now a lobbyist with a new cannabis business group called the Canadian Cannabis Chamber.

The chamber includes former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson, as well as former Alberta Conservative justice minister Jonathan Denis.

Group promoting legal pot industry includes 2 former Alberta cabinet ministers

According to Blackett, $1 per gram seems “just about right.”

It is anticipated the federal government will raise billions with its tax on pot. Provinces such as Alberta are already lobbying Ottawa to ensure they receive their fair share when pot becomes legal in Canada.

Watch below: Ottawa proposes taxing legal marijuana at least $1 per gram

In the interim, Alberta has proposed allowing the private sector to handle retail sales. Although Friday a news report suggested Alberta is studying a government-run online component, as well.

According to Canadian Cannabis Chamber president Peter Pilarski, combining privatized retail sales with government-run online stores makes sense.

“Taking a hybrid approach is an intelligent compromise to a complex decision in an emerging industry,” Pilarski said

Alberta looking for feedback on weed via online survey

Recreational pot use will become legal July 1, 2018.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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