Future marijuana revenues for BC’s provincial government will not boost provincial coffers significantly, according to the BC NDP’s first budget released yesterday.
Forecasts show BC’s share of federal duty on cannabis will be $50 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year, rising during the subsequent full-duration fiscal years with $75 million per year in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
The lower figure for the first fiscal year is due to the uncertainty of when legalization will begin. It certainly will not be ready in time for Canada Day; all indications show Canadians will not be able to smoke legal recreational marijuana until late summer at the very earliest.
The federal government is collecting the new tax on marijuana, and anticipates it will generate about $1 billion per year. About half of these revenues will be divided amongst the provinces and territories.
Another contributing factor to marijuana revenues deals with the legalization of edibles, which are popular, but it is not expected to happen for at least another year after the initial general legalization.
Comparatively, BC’s tax revenues on tobacco alone is expected to be $825 million for 2018-19, up $95 million from the previous fiscal year due to a hike in tobacco tax rates effective this April.
The provincial government released its strict regulations for the purchase of legal recreational marijuana earlier this month.