As Canada gears up to legalize marijuana in July of next year, Ottawa agreed to sell weed at $7.77 a gram—$10 in Canadian dollars—which will only add to the country’s deficit.
The Canadian government announced that provinces will receive 75 percent of the tax revenues to help cover the costs of setting the system up.
“Our expectation is that, by keeping prices low, we will be able to get rid of the black market,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau told The Toronto Star. “However that will happen over time.”
The price could even go lower than that in order to eliminate the illegal market, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa told the publication. “It’s important for us to be responsive to the marketplace,” he said.
But keeping pot so cheap will only add to Canada’s deficit. The federal government predicts it will have to invest an estimated $544,3 million just to set up a system to sell legal pot, which will only see tax revenues of $311 million per year in the early years. At the same time, municipalities estimate costs between $163,2 million and $260,4 million per year, according to The Toronto Star. [Read more at Newsweek]