With Canada in the midst of the third wave of COVID-19 and variants of concern accelerating, Canadian businesses want to see a plan to get us all back on track and make this lockdown our country’s last.
(OTTAWA) – September 18, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s National Cannabis Working Group is calling on the federal government to embrace the economic upside of Canada’s regulated cannabis industry in the COVID-19 economic recovery plan it will be presenting to Canadians this fall.
Investments by the legal cannabis industry have created thousands of good paying jobs in communities of all sizes across Canada, and added an additional $8.3 billion to Canada’s GDP as of July 2019. The industry is in a position to contribute much more to Canada’s economy, as Statistics Canada recently determined when it reported that legal cannabis sources still represent less than half of all consumption in Canada.
The National Cannabis Working Group is calling on the federal government to help accelerate the conversion from the illegal market to the regulated one as a low cost way to create new jobs for Canadians in this new industry. Specifically, in its pre-budget submission, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has asked the federal government to:
- Engage with the legal cannabis industry through an economic strategy table or similar mechanism to start addressing regulatory barriers to growth and accelerate conversion from the illegal market to the regulated one
- Reduce administrative costs to the industry by coordinating the development of a national excise stamp for cannabis products
Today, the National Cannabis Working Group is also calling on the federal government to commit Global Affairs Canada to work with industry to develop a medical cannabis export and promotion strategy so Canada can take advantage of a global market expected to grow to US$63 billion by 2024.
“As the government looks to support Canada’s economic recovery there is a ton of untapped economic potential in Canada’s cannabis industry,” said Nathan Mison, Chief Executive Officer at Diplomat Consulting and co-chair of the National Cannabis Working Group. “A medical cannabis export strategy will help convert Canada’s existing head-start in this industry to new sales by Canadian producers in foreign markets.”
“Make no mistake, Canada’s economic recovery will be business-led and removing barriers to growth for Canada’s cannabis industry is a low-cost way to create new jobs, growth and tax revenue,” said Ryan Greer, Senior Director, Cannabis Policy at the Chamber and co-chair of the National Cannabis Working Group. “The Speech from the Throne and the upcoming budget are an opportunity for the government to send a clear signal that it wants more economic activity to take place in the regulated cannabis market rather than the illegal one.”
About the National Cannabis Working Group
Since its launch in June 2019, the National Cannabis Working Group has grown to more than 70 organizations with a shared interested of improving the growth and competitiveness of the Canadian cannabis industry while helping governments achieve their health and safety objectives. Follow us on twitter at @CCC_Cannabis
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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