Medical Cannabis 101

How to Claim Medical Cannabis on Tax Returns

By February 8, 2021 August 5th, 2022 No Comments
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How to Claim Medical Cannabis on Your Tax Return 

**Please note this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your financial advisor, accountant, lawyer, or tax specialist if you have any questions about filing your taxes. 

Since the legalization of medical cannabis in Canada, citizens have become more receptive to learning about cannabis as a medicine. With the number of medical cannabis patients continuing to rise, Canadians are looking for different ways to save money on their medicine. As medical cannabis doesn’t have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and isn’t currently covered by public health drug plans, it has made it difficult for some patients to find the appropriate coverage for their necessary medicine. The good news is, your medical cannabis is considered a medical expense and we are here to help show how you can claim it on your yearly income tax return. 

For most, the Canadian tax return due date (or deadline) is on April 30th.

Claiming Medical Cannabis on Your Tax Return 

Health Canada and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have worked together to allow prescribed patients to claim their medical cannabis as an expense on their personal yearly income tax returns. The medical expense tax credit can be used to reduce the amount of tax that you owe at the end of the year. This tax credit category is used to include things like medical supplies, dental care, and medical marijuana. 

In order to claim medical cannabis, you must have a prescription for the medication, and any expense must have been purchased for medical purposes from a Licensed Producer (LP). You will want to have your claimable receipts on hand or as a digital copy in order to calculate the correct amount you spent over the year. Depending on your LP, your purchase receipts can be found under your account on their website, and/or in your email inbox. If you are having trouble locating them, you can contact your LP directly and they can help you find copies

What Can I Claim When It Comes to Medical Cannabis?

Eligible & claimable items include any cannabis flower, seeds, oils, ingestibles, and any other cannabis products purchased from an LP. Certain devices such as Health Canada approved vaporizers are considered medical devices, and therefore are eligible as a medical expense! Currently, there are only a handful of devices that currently qualify, which include the Volcano Medic, Volcano Medic 2, & the portable Mighty Medic. If you are interested in purchasing a medical grade vaporizer, Apollo offers these for sale to all of our patients at great prices. 

Unfortunately, any costs related to growing such as lights, containers, fertilizers, and other items are not claimable at this time.

How Do I Calculate My Claimable Medical Expenses? How Much Can I Claim On My Tax Return?

For the exact steps on how to make your claim, please see Canada Revenue Agency’s step-by-step guide here, and be sure to confirm with your financial advisor or accountant on what you can claim.

Claiming Medical Expenses Summary

A good practice is to compare the amount you can claim with your spouse or common-law partner. It may be more beneficial for the person with the lower net income to claim medical expenses. In the last few years, we have seen more insurance companies beginning to include medical cannabis in select plans and coverage options. We’re optimistic for the future since there are several organizations working to advocate on patient’s behalf to the Canadian government. 

If you have any questions about medical cannabis, Apollo is here to help 7 days-a-week. When it comes time to do your annual taxes, be sure to check all categories where you may be able to qualify for a tax refund.

If you have any questions about filling out your tax return, please consult your financial advisor, accountant, lawyer, or tax specialist.

Additional Resources

Turbotax: Cannabis in Canada & Taxes

H&R Block: Claiming Cannabis on Your Tax Return

Canada Revenue Agency: Provincial & Territorial Tax Credits for Individuals Medical Expense Tax Credit

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