Medical marijuana is now tax deductible in Canada.
More big news on the medical marijuana front, now the Canada Revenue Agency — the nation’s tax collector — says it’s cool with medical marijuana users claiming the costs of their weed as a medical expense, so long as they buy their pot from a licensed producer. Medical marijuana patients in Canada now have a reason to celebrate. Have times changed.
Medical marijuana is now on the CRA’s list of eligible medical expenses.
Medical marijuana is now on the CRA’s list of eligible medical expenses. Yes, Canadians, you can expense your legal medical marijuana if you’re a valid patient purchasing products from a licensed producer under Health Canada’s guidelines. The Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed that medical cannabis purchased under prescription is an allowable medical expense at tax time. The CRA website includes medical marijuana and marijuana seeds on its list of eligible medical expenses. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns300-350/330/llwxpns-eng.html#marihuana
The Canadian Cannabis Industry
The news, according to wawa-news.com, came in an August 24 letter from the CRA to the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association, which has been lobbying the CRA to clarify the issue. http://www.cmcia.ca/ , Specifically, the letter notes “that while amendments to the Income Tax Act have yet to be introduced to recognize the MMPR, “[T]he CRA will not disallow eligible medical expenses claimed for the purchase of medical marihuana allowable under these new regulations”.
Write off medical marijuana, CRA says
This is an important step in acknowledging the legitimacy of the way patients use medical marijuana, to help manage the symptoms of a range of health conditions. It’s very good that the CRA is recognizing medical marijuana as eligible since it is clearly a physician prescribed remedy. “This is an important step, because it allows patients to write off a major component of their health-care costs,” CMCIA spokesperson Cam Battletold CBC News. Neil Belot, Executive Director of the CMCIA. “We have been working with the CRA and the Department of Finance for several months to clarify this issue, and we’re extremely pleased that cannabis regulated by Health Canada has been recognized as an allowable tax expense. It’s very good news, and will help make the use of cannabis as medicine more accessible and affordable for patients.”
Medical marijuana could be covered by insurance, experts say
Canadians who have been prescribed medical marijuana could one day see their insurance company footing the bill, experts predict, following the introduction of new Health Canada rules that allow for the sale of cannabis oils.
Cannabis Oil now legal
Health Canada announced revamped medical marijuana regulations earlier this month after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that users of the drug should be permitted to consume it in other forms, such as oils and edibles, rather than having to smoke dried buds. Health Canada has been clarifying its rules for licensed medical marijuana producers to allow them to produce and sell cannabis oil.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose had initially said she was outraged by the Supreme Court of Canada decision, which lets patients consume marijuana, not just smoke it. The government had tried to limit medical pot use to dried marijuana only.
But the ruling left a grey area with producers being limited under the law to selling dried forms of marijuana even though patients were allowed to consume other forms.
In a recent statement, Health Canada said the new interpretation was effective immediately and intended to eliminate uncertainty.
Producers are not allowed to sell plant material that could be used to grow pot, the statement said. It also reiterated that compassion clubs and dispensaries are illegal.
Health Canada ‘Dragged kicking and screaming’ to court
Ambrose said her department was meeting “the requirements dictated by the Supreme Court of Canada.”
“Health Canada is doing so in a manner that respects the rule of law, protects public health and public safety, and reflects the serious health risks with marijuana, especially for youth,” Ambrose said in a statement released by her office.
Ambrose’s statement makes three separate references to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who has called for marijuana to be legalized and regulated. The Conservatives frequently attack Trudeau’s position on marijuana, alleging he would make it easier for teens to get pot.
Kirk Tousaw, the lawyer who represented the respondent in the Supreme Court case, said he was surprised Health Canada is taking small steps to progress, but noted the federal department had to be “dragged kicking and screaming” by the court.
Edibles are illegal in Canada and maybe for good reason.
Tousaw said he’s concerned the licensed producers still aren’t allowed to sell products other than oil and fresh bud and leaves — for example, it remains illegal for them to sell brownies, tea or other products that are now legal for medical marijuana patients to consume. Vancouver Coastal Health’s chief medical officer is reiterating her support for a ban on edible marijuana baked goods and other treats as city council finalize regulations on Vancouver’s illegal pot dispensaries. Dr. Patricia Daly says she supports the city’s proposed regulation. however she wants a ban on edibles that are packaged as candies or baked goods because they pose a health danger to youth. “There’s no other medicine — including medicine used for people in intractable pain or cancer — that companies are allowed to format in the form of candy or baked goods that might appeal to children,” Daly, who supports legalizing and strictly regulating marijuana, says recent evidence from the United States noted that edible pot was responsible for at least 2,000 reports of poisoning of children under the age of six. Edible pot can cause serious effects in children, like coma, seizures, and even stop their breathing, said Daly. “That’s occurring even in states that require childproof containers and labeling on their products, so that’s clearly not sufficient,” she said.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association, however, is calling for the regulation of edible pot, saying the proper packaging and labeling would make the products as unattractive and inaccessible to children as possible.
How to Write off Medical Marijuana
Canadians legalized medical marijuana in 2000 via the Marijuana Medical Access Program (MMAP). In order to legally deduct medical marijuana as an expense on their taxes, Canadian residents must do two things: have a physician’s authorization and have purchased their medicine from a licensed producer. The agency says a taxpayer can write off “the amount paid to Health Canada or a designated producer for a person authorized to possess or use the drug for medical purposes under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations or exempt under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.” The CRA states that, “the amount paid to Health Canada or a designated producer for a person authorized to possess or use the drug for medical purposes under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations or exempt under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act” will qualify. Medical expenses for a taxpayer, spouse or common-law partner, and his or her dependent children can be declared on Line 330 of the T1 tax return. A CMCIA spokesperson told CBC the average per-patient cost of the drug is about $7.60 a day, or $2,774 per year, depending on dosage and type. For 2014, CRA’s threshold for allowable medical expense deduction is 3% of a client’s net income or $2,171, whichever is less.
- Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.