The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued cannabis-related fines totaling 1.3 million Canadian dollars ($1 million) since adult-use marijuana was legalized in October 2018, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.
The nearly two-dozen penalties for violations of the Excise Act include one large levy of approximately CA$500,000, according to the CRA, which collects taxes and administers tax law for the government that is canadian
The hefty charges attended since the nation’s top cannabis regulator, wellness Canada, has up to now selected not to ever fine any cannabis manufacturers despite severe violations that are regulatory as illegal cultivation and sale.
Instead, the agency has used a variety of other approaches including warnings and license suspensions.
In the case of the CRA, the most reasons that are common evaluating a penalty had been:
- Production without an excise license.
- Unaccounted for excise stamps.
- Inadequate publications and records.
- The purchase of cannabis by an excise licensee from an person that is unlicensed
The CRA would not reveal the names of the companies, citing confidentiality.
The agency also declined to break the fines down by category because that “could trigger the prospective recognition of taxpayers, which may contravene the privacy conditions associated with Excise Act,” a spokesperson told MJBizDaily.
The CRA accounts for administering the excise taxation framework on cannabis items.
Canada’s Excise Act contains administrative-penalty that is various in cases where businesses are found to have contravened the law.
Fines, or administrative monetary penalties, may be imposed when the Act is found to have been violated, the CRA said.
In 2019, the first full calendar year of recreational cannabis sales in Canada, 15 penalties were assessed, totaling CA$769,426.
The largest fine levied that year was CA$507,660.
That means the penalty that is average the 14 other contraventions had been CA$18,697.
Seven Penalties were assessed in 2020, totaling CA$527,798.
The largest fine in 2020 was for CA$434,611.
Excluding the fine that is largest, the average penalty for the six other contraventions in 2020 was CA$15,531.
Seemingly small infractions such as lost stamps that are excise carry significant fines, as those charges are evaluated for each and every stamp that may not be accounted for.
No Wellness Canada fines
The CRA’s fines mark a approach that is different Health Canada when it comes to regulatory enforcement.
Rather Than fining large businesses, Health Canada has used a combination of warning letters, phone calls and license suspensions, according to the department’s compliance report that is latest for the 2018-19 financial year.The conformity report – the first to ever protect early months of legalization in Canada – doesn’t show any fines having been released.“To date, wellness Canada have not released an (administrative financial penalty),” a department representative formerly told
“In most situations, controlled events undertake voluntarily action to correct non-compliance she continued.
“In once they are made aware of the regulatory requirement(s Other cases, other enforcement tools, such as a warning letters, license revocation or suspension, are determined become most reliable for the circumstance.”
Health Canada versus CRA
Shane Morris of Ottawa-based Morris and Associates asking concerns why the CRA is businesses that are fining Health Canada has chosen not to.
“At the end of the day, the minister can decide when to take action and when not to take action,” he said in a phone interview.cannabis“But it’s interesting to have two departments regulating the industry that is same just take various approaches to your regulatory tools they will have and exactly how they apply them.”
Morris expects license holders become more careful about managing their obligations beneath the CRA’s demands, rather than wellness Canada’s demands, “because that’s in which the real prospective financial danger is.”
“You’re seeing, with all the quantity and size of fines through the CRA within the
area, is it.“We that they clearly have a different approach to enforcement and compliance promotion than Health Canada, who have a softer approach, by the looks of know this because there have been a number of serious events that are noncompliance the industry from wellness Canada’s viewpoint and remit, yet they will have maybe not released any administrative charges.[email protected]“It could be interesting to see once they will begin fines that are applying and for what reason.”
Matt Lamers is* that is( company Daily(*)’s worldwide editor, based near Toronto. He is able to be reached at (*).(*)