First Nations demanding a cut of cannabis tax after pot legalization

A leading voice on First Nations finances wants the federal government to surrender taxation powers over cannabis to band councils, arguing Indigenous peoples should get a cut of the billions of dollars in revenue expected from legalization.

Manny Jules, chief commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission, is urging senators to amend Bill C-45, the government’s pot bill, to hand taxing authority to First Nations governments so they can impose their own levy on cannabis manufactured and sold on reserves.

Pot sales may not be the tax bonanza the government hoped for. They’ll sell less potent smoke for more money than is found on the street and face the burden of higher operating costs cutting into their anticipated profit. Some of that market disadvantage will be offset by people who wish to avoid death by misadventure having purchased fentanyl laced street goods but if anyone could fail at selling drugs you can bet it’s the government.