Doctors call on Ottawa to exempt medicinal marijuana from sales, excise tax

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OTTAWA — More than 50 doctors from across Canada are calling on Ottawa to withdraw its plan to charge tax on medicinal marijuana.

The doctors, who describe themselves as physicians who routinely prescribe marijuana to their patients, say applying a sales or excise tax to medicinal pot would discriminate against those who use the drug to manage their symptoms.

They say the measure would introduce financial barriers to Canadians looking to access the drug.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been meeting today with his provincial counterparts to discuss issues including the impact of an excise tax on cannabis.

NDP health critic Don Davies says an excise tax on medicinal pot could end up affecting its affordability and availability to those who need it.

Patients have also raised concerns since the Finance Department signalled in November it was looking to apply excise tax to both non-medicinal and medicinal pot.

The Canadian Press