DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: In the US, marijuana businesses are on a war footing. Although 23 states have legalised cannabis for medical or recreational use, sellers continue to be seen and treated as second-rate entrepreneurs.
The cultural prejudice of public opinion is partly to blame but it’s mainly because of the current system of federal taxation, which is based on the old prohibitionist principles that penalise the selling of a substance that was illegal until very recently. Unlike other businesses, those dispensing marijuana can’t deduct their business overheads from their income tax, including rent of the premises or staff salaries. In short, there are two very different sets of rules. As Bruce Nassau, a marijuana trader in Colorado, told the New York Times, this could suffocate a sector that has enormous growth potential.
Their reasons for protesting are: “We are proud to make our contribution to the state treasury but we want to pay a fair amount.”