The Canada Revenue Agency has officially confirmed that medical cannabis obtained from a licensed producer under a doctor’s order counts as a legitimate medical expense. This means that legal medical pot users are eligible for tax deductions.
The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association received a letter from the CRA last month confirming this. The letter was the CRA’s response to the CMCIA’s request for an official decision on medical marijuana’s tax status.
This means that the CRA has already included cannabis and cannabis seeds on the list of qualifying expenses.
This is great news for patients who rely on medical cannabis in the treatment of their illnesses and to alleviate or manage their symptoms.
Calculating medical expenses is not easy and it usually involves the amount of taxable income that they are bringing in. And many patients can find themselves not being able to afford the cost of legal medical cannabis, especially since most insurance plans do not cover the medication yet.
A CRA spokesperson has told the CBC earlier that the Income Tax Act has actually been reimbursing medical cannabis expenses for nearly 10 years now.
According to Cam Battley, CCO of cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis, this is an important progress because it allows cannabis patients to write off a huge part of their healthcare costs.
He estimated that each patient spends around C$7.60 on medical cannabis each day. That means over $2,500 a year on medication, depending on the dosage and the type of product. This amount could easily render medical cannabis inaccessible to many patients who desperately need the drug.