British Columbia updated a notice clarifying how its planned increased sales tax on vaporizer products will apply to cannabis devices.
The new notice removes “dry herb vaporizers” from the list of products subject to the increased tax rate.
The upped 20% provincial sales tax will still apply to liquid cannabis vaping products when it takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.
In November, B.C. became the first province in Canada to introduce a specific tax through legislation related to vaping products to “deter harmful behavior.” That tax applies to e-cigarettes, e-hookahs and other vaping-related products.
The amended law received final approval in the Legislative Assembly Nov. 27.
November’s notice had said the tariff would apply to, among other things, “dry herb vaporizers,” and the Ministry of Finance confirmed to Marijuana Business Daily at the time that vape devices for dry flower would not be exempt from the tax.
However, the updated notice explicitly states that “dry herb vaporizers – e.g. vaporizers used with dry cannabis – will remain subject to 7% (tax rate).”
Industry groups had criticized the province for its plan to nearly triple the sales tax on vape devices for dry flower.
“Dramatically increasing taxes on vape products will allow the black market to continue to flourish with its low prices and decrease options for regulated and reliable products from licensed producers,” the Cannabis Council of Canada, an industry body representing federally regulated marijuana producers, said at the time.
B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch said adult-use cannabis extracts, vapes and topicals will start making their way into private and public retail stores in late December.
Jurisdictions across North America have tightened regulations as the number of vaping-related illnesses, thought to be related to unregulated sources, is on the rise.
As of last week, three vaping-related illnesses were reported in British Columbia and another 11 in the rest of Canada.
Neighboring Alberta, Meanwhile, is weighing legal changes for its cannabis vape market.
Quebec and Newfoundland effectively banned the sale of cannabis vape products.