U.S.: Tax Reformers Detail Needed Changes to Marijuana Business Taxes
Grover Norquist and Representative Earl Blumenauer identify unjust application of tax code for legal marijuana businesses at press conference with the National Cannabis Industry Association
Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) president Grover Norquist, and National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) executive director Aaron Smith held a press conference on Thursday to mark the release of a new white paper from ATR entitled "Legal Cannabis Dispensary Taxation: A Textbook Case of Punishing Law-Abiding Businesses Through the Tax Code." The paper calls for reform of Internal Revenue Code Section 280E, which essentially forces medical marijuana providers to pay taxes based on gross receipts rather than income, unlike all other small businesses.
Additionally, the paper details Americans for Tax Reform’s endorsement of H.R. 2240, the Small Business Tax Equity Act, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Blumenauer and strongly supported by the NCIA. Norquist also sent a letter explaining his support for H.R. 2240 to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp.
"Congress needs to take swift action to amend 280E, a leftover relic in the Tax Code that was never intended to apply to small businesses complying with state laws," said Aaron Smith of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a trade association working to advance the interests of cannabis-related businesses in the U.S. "Without the technical amendment needed to allow these businesses to be treated equally under tax law, states and municipalities that are currently embracing the emerging regulated cannabis industry will never be able to realize its full economic potential.
"We are pleased to be able to stand with Grover Norquist and Representative Blumenauer on this non-partisan and commonsense issue," Smith said.
"Small, legal marijuana businesses are being victimized by the tax code," Rep. Blumenauer said. "They cannot deduct their business expenses like all other businesses. Then cannot claim advantages like the work opportunity tax credit if they hire a veteran. They cannot depreciate their American-made irrigation equipment.
"This is why I introduced the Small Business Tax Equity Act," Blumenauer explained. "Only Congress can fix this problem by updating the federal tax law that forces these businesses to close their doors, or drives them underground, encouraging evasion. I welcome Americans for Tax Reform in endorsing this legislation, a commonsense fix with appeal across the political spectrum.
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the only national trade association working to advance the interests of cannabis-related businesses in the US. NCIA promotes the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and works for a favorable social, economic and legal environment for that industry in the United States.