As Canada prepares to legalize marijuana, Imperial Tobacco Canada's president and CEO, Jorge Arraya, calls on the Trudeau government to be consistent about the rules that will be imposed for marijuana and those already in place. force for tobacco products.
«We understand that these are two different industries, but we want the same principles that apply to marijuana to be applied to tobacco as well. The rules should be similar, not exactly the same, but similarSaid Thursday Mr. Arraya in telephone interview with Le Soleil.
At the forefront of the tobacco company's concerns are the taxes that represent 70% of the cost of the product in some provinces. "We welcome the federal government's approach of keeping the tax rate low enough on marijuana to eliminate the black market. But we must not forget either that the black market also represents 25% of tobacco sales"He says.
Not wishing to dictate to the government what an ideal tax rate would be, Arraya says that 50% already seems more reasonable. "This is not a goal to achieve, but avoid increases up to 70%. At $ 100 $ for a carton of cigarettes, while you can get the same amount for 15 $ on the black market, you fund organized crime outright. It should be more moderate, avoid giving a shock to the marketHe continues.
Mr. Arraya also has laws against plain packaging and prohibiting flavored tobacco products. "Remove completely the aspect of the mark, we think that it is illegal and that it is exaggerated and inefficientHe argues, arguing that the Australian government has noted an increase in tobacco consumption even though the packaging has been neutral for four years.
Especially, as Jorge Arraya points out, the federal government did not mention any standardization of marijuana products and left hear that he would accept a certain level of prominence of the mark once the legalization has been adopted.
Imperial Tobacco Canada is not currently interested in diving into the marijuana market once the product is legal in the country.
«Never say neverSays Jorge Arraya, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian division of the multinational tobacco company. "But for now, we are absolutely not interested in the marijuana market.»
The businessman believes that the future of Imperial Tobacco is rather on the side of the electronic cigarette and non-combustible tobacco products. "The tobacco we heat rather than burn it, we already have it in British Columbia, but under current law we can not communicate with consumers about this productHe says.
As for the electronic cigarette, which many retailers distribute and of which there are already 1,5 million consumers across the country, selling it is simply illegal everywhere in Canada if it contains a liquid with nicotine.
«We are waiting for it to become legal in Canada to launch our electronic cigarette products. We really feel that these are low-risk products and we have independent scientific analyzes that support this theorySays Arraya, who claims that e-cigarettes and non-combustible tobacco products would be up to 90% less toxic than traditional tobacco products.