Ask a Stoner: Why Should Weed Companies Get Federal Aid?

Dear Stoner: Why are marijuana companies complaining about not getting any federal bailout money? What’d they expect? They signed up to be illegal businesses, and are supposed to “recession-proof,” anyway.

Dear Val: They’re complaining because they pay taxes, just like every other legal business. Actually, the cannabis industry is taxed at an even higher rate than most small businesses — sometimes north of 70 percent — owing to an IRS code banning any tax reductions for businesses that obtain their revenue in a way that is federally illegal.
click to enlarge SCOTT LENTZ
Scott Lentz
Even “recession-proof” vices such as alcohol, cannabis and tobacco are hurt during pandemics, because people are still leaving their fucking homes during a “normal” recession. Like liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries have been deemed an essential business in Colorado and virtually every other state (besides Massachusetts) with legal pot — but unlike liquor stores, dispensaries and other cannabis businesses are not eligible for loans or payroll support. So even though cannabis businesses are essential and paying double their weight in taxes, they’re not supposed to receive the help everyone else gets when times are tough?

Still, since that first round of IRS stimulus checks were released several shopping days before 4/20, maybe legal cannabis did get a boost from the feds after all.

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