Weekly Wrapup: MMJ Group to Take on IRS + Judges Handing Down Sentences Tied to Cannabis Raids
New industries often struggle to create a sense of unity among business owners and employees. It can take years for professionals to come together as a group to support common interests, vocalize shared concerns and lobby for legislative changes that benefit the industry as a whole.
The same is certainly true in the medical cannabis industry, which is highly fractured and largely unorganized. Many MMJ dispensaries and cannabis companies operate in a bubble.
Owners often focus solely on their own businesses, devoting little if any time or resources to industry events, networking
opportunities and medical cannabis groups. At the same time, MMJ organizations are still struggling to figure out the best
ways to be effective.
That’s finally beginning to change.
Earlier this month, MMJ Business Daily highlighted efforts by Americans for Safe Access to foster industry unity. Now, a new group has formed to tackle the important issue of business taxes.
As we reported last week, several industry leaders have come together under the banner of the 280E Reform Team. The organization is tasked with educating the public, lawmakers and industry professionals about the Internal Revenue Service’s stance that MMJ businesses can’t deduct common expenses from their federal taxes.
That policy, articulated in an IRS audit of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, could sink many dispensaries, as they will end up having to funnel a much higher percentage of revenue to the government than businesses in other industries.
The reform group held its first workshop on Saturday in California, and it will spearhead others in key MMJ states in upcoming months (including Seattle on March 10). Its overarching goal is to bring about legislative change to let cannabis dispensaries and marijuana cultivation companies deduct payroll, rent and other business expenses from their taxes.
Also last week, MMJ Business Daily reported on some of the sentences handed down to Montana dispensary owners and employees caught up in the recent federal raids. As a whole, the sentences have been on the more lenient end of the spectrum, at least when considering the maximum penalties for drug charges. Individuals have received months – rather than years – of jail time and modest fines.
But it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Some of these MMJ workers thought they were operating well within state laws,
so jail time, fines and the loss of a job (or an entire business) are rather devastating.
These, however, are the risks one takes when operating in an industry focused on a substance that is still illegal
federally. Stay tuned this spring to see what happens to the other professionals charged with crimes as a result of the
estimated 200 raids that have taken place in recent times.
Other top stories in MMJ Business Daily last week:
Marijuana cultivation facilities have been specifically identified as a key contributor to Denver’s increasing electric [click to continue...]
Five Alaskans were appointed to a board that will craft laws governing the state’s recreational [click to continue...]
The New York Health Department may announce winners of the five medical cannabis licenses up [click to continue...]
The Green Rush is back on in Massachusetts. The opening of the first medical cannabis [click to continue...]
Rules governing Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are taking shape, with state lawmakers sending two bills [click to continue...]
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made a splash in Denver on Tuesday, raising an estimated [click to continue...]
Dispensaries could be open in Hawaii in just over a year, as a bill establishing [click to continue...]
In an attempt to get around obstructionists in the state House of Representatives who have [click to continue...]
And then there were five. Dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, that is. Compassionate Sciences, Inc. [click to continue...]
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the [click to continue...]
In another sign of the marijuana industry’s growing national reach, a New York-based real estate [click to continue...]
Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and [click to continue...]
Delaware’s only licensed medical cannabis dispensary officially opened in the northern town of Wilmington on [click to continue...]
Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as [click to continue...]