Tax breaks and exemptions are created to help businesses grow and succeed so that they can contribute to the economy. Many business owners will tell you that without some of their larger tax breaks, they wouldn't be in business. The agricultural industry is no exception.
Agricultural companies in Canada rely on a lucrative tax break to stay in business. Unfortunately, legal cannabis growers in Canada will not be able to eligible for that tax break. Per The Telegram:
Mayors in B.C. have been warning for months that commercial grow-ops could get out of paying nearly 90 per cent of their property taxes if they're lumped together with farms, even if they're operating on expensive industrial land.
The province's agriculture minister, Norm Letnick, said medical marijuana facilities are complex industrial operations --- and that's how they'll be taxed.
"Local governments are concerned --- and fairly so --- that there might be some extra costs associated with these facilities," Letnick said in an interview.
The reasoning behind the extra taxes is that cannabis is grown in an industrial area, which is virtually a requirement in Canada given the outdoor climate combined with the code and security requirements involved. It's a ridiculous way to discreetly discriminate against North America's next big industry. I would be curious to know how many indoor grow facilities there are in Canada for non-cannabis agriculture items, and how they are taxed comparatively.
The cannabis industry should be given a level playing field compared to other industries. There are a lot of speculative investors looking at the industry right now, and if they see that the industry is getting taxed to death, they will take their money elsewhere. No cannabis business should have to be forced to close because they don't rightfully get the same shake as someone who owns a similar, yet non-cannabis based business. The cannabis industry wants to create living-wage jobs and generate revenue important social programs, but needs to be treated the same as any other business.
Canada, in many ways has been helping lead the way in both hemp and cannabis law reform. We are very pleased to have Philippe Lucas help inform our attendees about the lay of the land in Canada at the International Cannabis Business Conference on September 13th thru the 14th in Portland, Oregon.