Medical Marijuana Financial Landscape to Change: The Financial Ramifications of the CARERS Act

Aside from the obvious societal and legal implications, the proposal by Senators Rand Paul, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker to change marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug will also have financial ramifications. One of the difficulties in running a marijuana business is dealing with the IRS, still empowered to enforce IRC Code 280E. The code was created during the Reagan era to help in the administration's War on Drugs and specifically prohibits the deduction of normal business expenses from any income derived through the sale of illegal drugs. This includes expenses such as rent and payroll and has resulted in tax rates for some marijuana businesses to approach 70 percent as opposed to a more-normal 30-35 percent. The CARERS Act removes marijuana from the illegal drug category in states with medical marijuana programs. This makes running a marijuana-based business in states with regulated programs more...

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