NDP Slams Liberal Medicinal Cannabis Tax

OTTAWA – NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver – Kingsway) today criticized the Liberal government’s decision to impose an excise tax on medicinal cannabis.

“The Liberals’ medicinal cannabis tax is misconceived, unfair to patients, and damaging to public health,” Davies said. “It is simply poor public policy.”

The cost burden of medicinal cannabis is already high given that unlike prescription drugs and medically necessary devices, it is not tax exempt under federal law. Medicinal cannabis is neither exempt from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) nor eligible for reimbursement under nearly all public or private insurance plans.

Medicinal cannabis should be treated like other medically prescribed therapeutic medicines.

“Patients are currently forced to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars each month in order to acquire a sufficient supply of cannabis, or choose a riskier option, like a prescription opioid, because it’s tax exempt and covered for reimbursement,” said Davies. “This is perverse, and even more illogical given the growing body of data which suggests that cannabis can play a significant role in addressing the opioid crisis.”

“New Democrats will use every tool at our disposal to expose this flawed decision, protect patients and advance smart health policy,” Davies concluded.

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