Indiana Cannabis Church Gets Tax-Exempt Status From IRS

Marijuana business owners suffering from tax issues may need to find religion: The First Church of Cannabis in Indiana has been granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.

The church, whose founder will grow hemp and reportedly allow cannabis consumption on its premises, was approved by the secretary of state under Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, according to Forbes.

Churches benefit from being considered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entities and in many cases don’t pay federal or state corporate taxes or state income, excise or sales taxes. They can also extend donors tax deductions on charitable donations.

Founder Bill Levin told U.S. News and World Report that each service will start with Amazing Grace played on a harmonica, followed by a “call to worship” when parishioners will begin smoking cannabis.

The religious freedom act doesn’t necessarily mean members won’t be arrested or ticketed, only that they can use the law as a defense if charges are brought up.

The state must then give a compelling reason for government interference with a religious practice. With the level of scrutiny Indiana’s religious freedom act has created, that may be difficult to do, the state’s American Civil Liberties Union legal director told the Indianapolis Star.

7 comments on “Indiana Cannabis Church Gets Tax-Exempt Status From IRS
  1. Mountzioncollective on

    I’m from indiana, a lot of my family lives there and I would not want to be in that first service.

    theyve already been strong armed and embarrassed once by this bill, u think their going to let some hippie call their bluff and publicly embarrass them in front of the world? They will calmly and politely arrest the priest on the first day of service to avoid any embarrassment or attacks because of how they handle it.

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  2. Mountzioncollective on

    Indiana does not certify or “approve” religious organizations, their “tax exempt status” is given to anyone who puts in an application, they have received no informal approval of operations

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  3. Mountzioncollective on

    Samil not sure what that means, stick around in 1 month for their first “ceremony” and we’ll see whose seeing things clearly, scheduled for July 1st I believe

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  4. bongstar420 on

    As long as their drug use isn’t tax free and their beliefs are kept out of common law like the Constitution mandates…its all good..

    They can hop around like a bunch of Scientologists all they want.

    I suspect they are no more “religious” than the crack heads are.

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  5. catchinup on

    Hooray to someone with an inventive way to introduce semi-legal MJ to Indiana (like they need an intro). The word has to get out with every media and church is a media. In all likely hood MJ was used for health reasons in the time of Christ. I did hear a story about Julius Caesar telling all his commanders in the (50 BC-48 BC) war to stop the use of MJ by the soldiers as they weren’t fighting well.

    Reply

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