Ottawa proposing legal weed tax of at least $1 per gram, plus GST

Anyone planning to purchase legal marijuana next year better be prepared to pay the taxman as well, to the tune of at least $1 for every gram — plus GST.

The proposed federal tax scheme, announced today, will be available for public comment until Dec. 7 as Canada prepares to legalize the drug by next summer.

The plan would add an excise tax of $1 per gram or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is higher, with the revenues to be divided equally between Ottawa and the provinces.

GST will be also be applied, so if the retail price of a single gram of pot is $8, consumers would pay a $1 excise tax and $1.17 in GST for a total of $10.17.

The taxes would be levied on both on fresh and dried marijuana, pot-infused oils and seeds and seedlings used for home cultivation.

The 50-50 tax revenue split idea has already rankled some premiers who say their governments have to do the bulk of the heavy lifting on legalization, including policing, distributing and regulating the sale of marijuana.