Tax revenue from legal marijuana has been a point of deliberation from the time it has been legalised in British Columbia.
B.C.’s first round of tax revenue from legal cannabis is lower than the estimates written into the 2018/2019 budget, according to reports.
The province had anticipated it would receive revenue of around $200 million over three years, however now it estimates to receive about $68 million over three years.
“We can make adjustments to that each year as we see the progress of the stores opening,” the provincial Finance Minister told reporters.
She added the discrepancy was due to delays in legalisation from the federal government and municipal elections across B.C. which put new permits for weed shops on hold.
“We’ve seen a delay in opening of stores and that obviously impacts the revenue,” she said.
When marijuana was legalised in Canada in October 2018, there was just one B.C. Cannabis Store in the entire province, located in Kamloops at the Columbia Place Shopping Centre. Legal cannabis and cannabis products can also be purchased online, a CBC news report said.
“It appears that the boon legalising cannabis would generate for Canadian government coffers isn’t as high as once thought,” a Bloomberg report said. Other provinces, including Ontario, have reduced their legal marijuana revenue estimates too, and analysts have cut their forecasts for the Canadian weed industry.
New Brunswick and Alberta have both have reduced their estimates for revenue from the legal cannabis industry while Manitoba and Prince Edward Island didn’t provide revenue estimates for cannabis-related sales in their respective provinces.