Pot taxes will stay low to squeeze out illicit dealers, Morneau suggests

WASHINGTON—Here’s some good news for Canadian pot smokers: high taxes will not join the munchies, the pasties and short-term memory loss as unwelcome side effects of smoking up.The Canadian government is hinting it wants to keep pot taxes low.As the feds design taxation policy for soon-to-be-legalized marijuana, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Friday that he will be guided by one main goal: squeezing out the black market.Health Minister Jane Philpott says protecting kids is “at the centre” of the Liberals’ new legal-marijuana regime. The much-anticipated legislation unveiled Apr. 13 would make it against the law to sell cannabis to youth under 18.(The Canadian Press )Read more: Article Continued BelowPot laws looked like they’d never change — Then WHAM: SalutinMarijuana enthusiasts say legalization will light up 4/20 celebrationsHe is adamant that maximizing federal revenues is not, and will not be, the priority on pot, suggesting Ottawa favours keeping prices competitive against the street value in order to push the local pusher out of business.“The driver as we look at taxation in this sector will be, ‘How do we tax in a way that makes sure we get criminals out?’ … That gives you context for the way we’re thinking about it,” Morneau said in a roundtable interview.