Yesterday, members of the Czech cabinet heard a draft plan on launching a regulated cannabis market and increasing drug addiction and treatment spending, ČTK reports. National anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil told ČTK that a regulated cannabis market could be worth billions of crowns worth of tax-related revenues to the national budget.
The plan is part of a strategy to address drug addiction in the country by 2027. It was laid out by then Prime Minister Andrej Babiš but his anti-drug minister had not issued a plan for moving forward. Vobořil returned to the anti-drug post in October 2021, following the election of Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
“The action plan will have five clear priorities. The controlled market, taxes, i.e. their improved collection, and a definition of the tax policy. This is something new in our action plans.” — Vobořil to ČTK
In its policy statement, Fiala’s cabinet indicated the regulation of addictive substances should correspond to the extent of their harmfulness, which would also be reflected in the excise taxes imposed on the substances. The plan includes new taxes on tobacco and alcohol. The nation already collected about CZK 60 billion in excise taxes on tobacco products and CZK 13 billion in excise taxes on alcohol, the report says.
The plan would also review taxes on gambling, which currently brings in CZK 5.1 billion to the national budget and CZK 4.9 billion to city budgets annually; however, the draft plan says society loses CZK 150 to 180 billion a year due to health and other consequences of addictions and early deaths.
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