Media Releases Oct 22, 2021

Cannabis is now a multi-billion dollar economic driver – we cannot afford to let it fail: Canadian Chamber of Commerce


(OTTAWA) – October 22 2021 – With the federal government’s statutory review of the Cannabis Act fast approaching, it will be critical to address the regulatory burdens that are currently putting this multi-billion dollar economic driver at risk.

As a rapidly growing industry that contributes over $17 billion to the Canadian economy annually, the legal cannabis industry creates thousands of direct jobs, with tens of thousands of ancillary jobs linked to its success.  Yet, the economic competitiveness lens is often missing when it comes to the industry’s regulation.

While the health and safety of Canadians must remain the top priority, we have learned a great deal since cannabis was legalized three years ago. Improvements can still be made to support an industry that benefits the economy without compromising on the safety of Canadians.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s National Cannabis Working Group has tabled their key recommendations for the review of the Cannabis Act in a letter to the Prime Minister. They include:

  • Increase export opportunities outside of Canada for medical cannabis, through the support of Global Affairs Canada;

  • Remove the prohibition of medical commercial imports, which will permit new medical cannabis products to be developed and delivered to patients while encouraging domestic investment;
  • Create a dedicated group within Innovation, Science and Economic Development to cover cannabis-related issues, which ensures a point of contact within government to address economic matters facing the industry;
  • Review the federal excise tax regime as it applies to medical cannabis, given that medicines are not taxed in Canada;

Support from all orders of government is critical to the domestic and international competitiveness of the sector. Given that the status quo is currently untenable, these changes will help enable the success of the legal cannabis industry.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Emily Walsh
ewalsh@chamber.ca