National Cannabis Industry Association Makes Tax Policy Push
Backed by the National Cannabis Industry Association, lawmakers in states with legal marijuana businesses are advocating for fairer tax policies and more equitable banking laws.
On June 5, Democratic lawmakers held a press conference in Washington, DC, to advocate for a change in federal tax policy and banking laws to support legal marijuana businesses.
Thirty-five members of the National Cannabis Industry Association joined Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Denny Heck (D-WA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis (both D-CO) in urging Congress to overhaul the tax code to allow legal marijuana dispensaries to take advantage of tax deductions.
Aaron Smith, NCIA’s executive director, says that the legal marijuana industry is one of the only industries coming to the nation’s capital asking to be taxed. “Tax us, but tax us fairly,” he said according to a Politico report.
“[Marijuana business owners] cannot claim the work opportunity tax credit if they hire a veteran, depreciate their American-made irrigation equipment, or utilize the deductions for the expenses associated with their operating costs,” said Representative Blumenauer in a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal. “As a result, those small businesses are paying federal income taxes that are often double or triple the effective tax rate of most businesses.”
The House members are also looking to pass legislation that would allow marijuana business owners to open bank accounts and prevent federal seizure of property.
Ean Seeb, vice-chair of NCIA’s board of directors, said in a statement that the government should “treat us as you would any other business.”