Two new bills could make it easier for businesses that sell medical marijuana to stay in the green, er, black. Under the Small Business Banking improvement Act, accredited marijuana dispensaries would be able to apply for bank loans, and the Small Business Tax Equity Act would allow them to deduct business expenses when filing their taxes.
Currently, businesses that sell medical marijuana in states where doing so is legal, are barred from applying for traditional forms of credit.
“I am really happy to see these bills introduced today,” Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, told The Colorado Independent. “For the first time, we have members of Congress standing up for this industry. For the first time, we are seeing legislation pushed on behalf of these small business owners.”
“Our tax code undercuts legal medical marijuana dispensaries by preventing them from taking all the deductions allowed for other small businesses,” [Rep. Pete] Stark stated. “While unfair to these small business owners, the tax code also punishes the patients who rely on them for safe and reliable access to medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor. The Small Business Tax Equity Act would correct these shortcomings.”
The bills have the support of a bipartisan group of congressmen including Stark, a Democrat, and Republican Ron Paul. However, supporters don’t expect swift passage. “Nothing like this happens quickly, but I am really optimistic. This will get the debate going, said Smith. “Eventually medical marijuana will get the fair treatment it deserves.”
Bills to fix banking and tax laws that allow federal medical marijuana crackdown introduced [The Washington Independent]