The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) said Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has confirmed that medical cannabis purchased by an individual from a licensed producer under Health Canada's Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) would be an allowable medical expense under the Income Tax Act.
Registered patients under the MMPR who receive a prescription for medical cannabis from a physician, and purchase cannabis from a licensed producer, may claim the cost of their cannabis as an allowable medical expense on their income tax.
While amendments to the Income Tax Act have yet to be introduced to recognize the MMPR, "the CRA will not disallow eligible medical expenses claimed for the purchase of medical marihuana allowable under these new regulations," said CRA.
"This is an important step in acknowledging the legitimacy of the way patients use medical cannabis, to help manage the symptoms of a range of health conditions," said Neil Belot, executive director of the CMCIA. "We have been working with the CRA and the Department of Finance for several months to clarify this issue, and we're extremely pleased that cannabis regulated by Health Canada has been recognized as an allowable tax expense. It's very good news, and will help make the use of cannabis as medicine more accessible and affordable for patients."
Allowable medical expenses under the Income Tax Act currently include prescription medicines lawfully acquired for use by an individual, when prescribed by a medical practitioner. Non-prescription or over-the-counter drugs cannot be claimed, even when recommended by a physician.