Manitoba proclaims law to end collection of social responsibility fee on Cannabis sale

Cannabis. Image credit: Unsplash/Wesley Gibbs

Winnipeg/CMEDIA: Finance Minister Cliff Cullen announced earlier this week of a legislation proclaimed by the Manitoba government under the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment Act (Social Responsibility Fee Repealed) that ends its collection of social responsibility fees from cannabis retailers retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022.

“Our government is committed to listening to small businesses and they have told us they would like to retain more of their earnings to reinvest in vital capital and labour costs,” Cullen said. “The cannabis market in Manitoba has matured to a point where we are able to balance the sector’s social responsibility with the sector’s competitiveness.”

The legislation which was introduced in Nov 2022, originally proposed ending the social responsibility levy as of Jan. 1, 2023 was amended to Jan. 1, 2022, in response to stakeholder requests to retain fees collected during the 2022 calendar year.

Any moneys collected for 2022 will be returned to retailers, the minister said.

In 2018, the six percent social responsibility fee was announced as a regulatory fee to be paid by all provincially licensed cannabis retailers on recreational cannabis revenue so that retailers could contribute to the social costs associated with cannabis legalization.

retailers will continue to support social responsibility efforts, going forward, the minister noted, through the unchanged existing legislated price markup collected by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.

Approximately two percent of annual net income is being contributed by the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries toward public education, addictions services and health programs.