Proposed marijuana taxes too high, says Whitehorse proponent

The federal government's proposed tax regime for cannabis sales is unfair and wouldn't eliminate the black market, says a man hoping to open a pot shop in Whitehorse.

Mike Dobson, who is also a user of medical marijuana, says the proposed taxes are too high.

"It's just going to push people back to the black market," he said.

Along with GST on cannabis sales, Ottawa is proposing an excise tax of $1 per gram of cannabis, or 10 per cent of the total retail price, whichever is higher. Revenues would be split evenly between the federal government the provinces and territories.

"I don't think that's fair at all to the common user," Dobson said. "It's going to nothing for Justin Trudeau's mandate to try and eliminate the sales from the black market."

Dobson agrees that there should be an excise tax on cannabis sales, but says it should be more moderate than what is being proposed.

It should be one or two per cent on total sales, or ten to 15 cents per gram, instead of $1, Dobson says.

"Just the wording of that will scare away potential customers from the stores," he said.

Dobson has talked about opening a dispensary in Whitehorse if and when pot becomes legal. He said when he tried in the past, it became obvious the city and the police would not let it happen.

The federal government's proposed tax regime is open to comment by the public until Dec. 7.