The Guardian: “The state that is the world’s sixth biggest economy will legalise cannabis on New Year’s Day – and expects a boom time for jobs and investment. . . . On Monday [January 1, 2018] , California, the US’s most populous state, and the world’s sixth biggest economy, will officially “hit it” by legalizing cannabis. . . . Overnight a shadow industry worth billions of dollars annually will emerge into the light, taking its place alongside agriculture, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and other sectors that are regulated and taxed.”
Cannabist: “As marijuana tax reform efforts petered out on Capitol Hill, another endeavor is before the U.S. Tax Court to let state-legal cannabis businesses take deductions and credits. The owners of a marijuana dispensary in Palisade, Colo., claim their income was unjustly taxed twice because of the Internal Revenue Service’s application of Section 280E, a tax code that disallows credits and deductions from income generated by sales of controlled substances. Jesse and Desa Loughman, owners of Colorado Alternative Health Care, recently filed a brief in U.S. Tax Court, challenging the IRS’ determination of taxes owed for 2010, 2011 and 2012.”
Azfamily.com: “Independent test results found mold on medical marijuana sold in the Valley that would not meet standards in some other states. Unlike most states with medical marijuana programs, Arizona does not establish contaminant standards for cannabis or require that cannabis products be tested in any way. An independent lab tested four cannabis flower products from Encanto Green Cross Dispensary in Phoenix after former employees complained to CBS 5 Investigates about issues with mold.”
Williams News: “After nearly five years, the Route 66 Wellness Center in Williams is closing its doors. Despite a handful or regular patients, Cannabis Research Group has decided to close the doors to their medical marijuana dispensary in Williams to be closer to its main customer, Desert Springs Cancer Care in Scottsdale. “It’s going to be a whole different situation, but we aren’t going to leave anybody high and dry in this area,” said store Manager Phillip Alexander.”
Forbes: “The U.S. Department of Justice is issuing another reminder that marijuana businesses don’t have a right to bankruptcy proceedings. . . . ‘”First, the bankruptcy system may not be used as an instrument in the ongoing commission of a crime and reorganization plans that permit or require continued illegal activity may not be confirmed. Second, bankruptcy trustees and other estate fiduciaries should not be required to administer assets if doing so would cause them to violate federal criminal law’.”
Leafly: “The sweeping tax bill passed by the US Senate over the weekend contains all sorts of giveaways to businesses, from generous write-offs for factories and equipment to bargain-basement rates on offshore tax havens. But for all the boons to business it provides, the bill fails to deliver commonsense tax reform to the cannabis industry. Two separate proposed amendments to the Senate tax bill would have ended a decades-old penalty that currently treats state-legal cannabis businesses like drug cartels. The rule, IRS Section 280E, prevents cannabis businesses from taking tax deductions available to other industries, often pushing their effective tax rates to more than 70%.
Fox News: “Smoked pot? Want to go to war? No problem. As more states lessen or eliminate marijuana penalties, the Army is granting hundreds of waivers to enlist people who used the drug in their youth — as long as they realize they can’t do so again in the military. The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana use jumped to more than 500 this year from 191 in 2016. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted. The big increase is just one way officials are dealing with orders to expand the Army’s size.”
Green Report: “Section 280E, which prevents state-legal marijuana companies from deducting otherwise ordinary business expenses from their total income, is one of the biggest obstacles cannabis entrepreneurs run up against. . . . While most companies in the U.S. pay a standard corporate tax rate of 35 percent, cannabis businesses, thanks to 280E, often face effective tax burdens of 70 percent or more. But there is hope on the horizon. Just this week, Sen. Cory Gardner’s press secretary said the senator ‘plans to file an amendment’ to the sweeping Senate tax overhaul bill that would reform 280E so it no longer applies to marijuana businesses operating in accordance with state and local laws,”