Good news, medical cannabis patients!
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirmed this week that medical cannabis purchased under physician’s order can be considered an eligible medical expense, come tax season.
The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) received a letter last month from the CRA that officially confirmed that legal cannabis from a licensed producer counts as a legitimate medical expense.
The letter was a response to a letter sent by the CMCIA requesting an official decision on the tax status of medical cannabis. The CRA lists cannabis and cannabis seeds on the list of qualifying expenses.
Calculating medical expenses is no easy feat and involves the amount of taxable income the individual is bringing in. The cost of medical cannabis from a licensed producer can quickly become unaffordable for many—especially since it isn’t yet covered by many insurance plans—so medical users could be eligible for the deductions.
A spokesperson for the CRA told the CBC this week that the Income Tax Act has been reimbursing medical cannabis costs for nearly 10 years.
Do you think @Bill_Morneau will consider this, or dismiss it? Who needs the money more? The federal government, or patients with chronic illnesses trying to get by? Do the right thing, Mr. Morneau. Let’s all get together on this. #DontTaxMedicine pic.twitter.com/FGJr9SyA1p
— Cam Battley (@CamBattley) February 20, 2019
Battley estimated that the typical cost per medical cannabis patient adds up to roughly $7.60 a day. That means a year’s worth of medication could cost over $2,500, depending on format and dosage, rendering medical cannabis inaccessible to many who desperately need it.
So this tax season, make sure your accountant knows how much weed you smoke, and provide receipts; it might just get you a sweet tax break.