House GOP drops the ax on Marijuana Tax Fairness bill

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The House Rules Committee blocks lawmakers from easing tax restrictions

A bill introduced by lawmakers to level the tax playing field by marijuana industry businesses has been nixed. The House Rules Committee has blocked a measure that would have allowed marijuana growers, sellers and processors to deduct certain business expenses the same way that other industry businesses can, preventing the bill from reaching the House floor.

Federal provision 280E was introduced in the 1980s. It specifies that certain marijuana-related business must pay tax rates that can reach as high as 70%, much higher than what is paid by other industries. It was designed to prevent those in the illegal drug trade to write off large expenses, but it now also applies to businesses in the legal marijuana industry.

The revision shot down by the House Rules Committee would have given “all businesses the right to succeed, regardless of what people on this committee or in our body feel that the legal treatment of marijuana under the law should be,” according to its sponsor, Colorado Congressman Jared Polis. The amendment failed along party lines, with a vote of 7-3.

Republicans have taken a stronghanded approach against all things marijuana. Over three dozen cannabis-related amendments have been submitted, but not a single one of them has been able to advance. The federal government continues to turn a blind eye to the importance of the marijuana industry, and to constituents. A recent poll by Gallup indicated that 67% of the adult US population supports marijuana legalization; however, lawmakers appointed by those constituents don’t seem to be anxious to react to their wishes.