Archive for tax revenues

Blissful Bottom Line: Marijuana: Let the Colorado Green Rush Proceed

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Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

The Rocky Mountain Legal Doobie Debut numbers are in -- and the pot of gold that was hoped for in Colorado's Green Rush did indeed appear at the end of the Recreational Use Revenue rainbow. A chillin' 34 million dollars (presumably much in highly-scented sacks of even colder cash) blew into the State of Colorado's coffers from the sales of marijuana -- sin-taxxed to the max -- in the virgin legalized retail month of January.

For a speedy gauge, the combined tax revenue sales of clothing, shoes and furniture scuppered in for the same period was just shy of double of them there cannabis tax cash millions! Washington state will soon make economic history when their own elevated pot revenues stream in to impress skeptical bean counters.

Bud Tender Dan Ericson, left, fills an order in Denver. LATimes image

Bud Tender Dan Ericson, left, fills an order in Denver. LATimes image

Where else are you going to come up with upwards of a million in legal revenues A DAY, 48 idiot (including many in Broke Ass territory) states that are still for all intents under Prohibition?

Colorado will be reinvesting a large share of their Mary Jane Monies into the best interests of a wildly needy population: their schoolchildren. Appears that these immodest sums will add up a tad faster than the mighty admirable Box Top$ For Education campaign. As far as good old capitalism goes, here's your sign of a bullish bud future: the First Family of Weed, featured on [msnbc's fair-haired new hope of a lad] 'Ronan Farrow Daily' on Tuesday.

It'd also be great to know that when the eldest nephew here in Vermont [which decriminalized down to a ticketed fine in 2013] wants to enjoy a skosh of some rad Alaskan Thunderfvck on the weekend, that it's safe to purchase and no one is going to end up in a jail cell because we Puritans were still glued to the urban myths and Regressive paranoia channels. Man.

Related wag o' the finger? Jerry Brown, WTF is up with the public mellow-harshing, mann?? And Mickey Hart just barely hailed Governor Moonbeam as a hero -- that's Dead Cred, mannn!?!

New York State, however,  is more than a bit behind the high times, Andrew Cuomo only recently gave the grand gubernatorial nod to medical, but having Rx dispensaries and growers in such a key NE state is a mega-win for the Cause. A wowed reporter over at Alternet was actually allowed on some ride-alongs with a high-end bud bike-delivery service that merrily brings ganja to your door in the Big Apple -- called Secret Fleet. The incoming supply pipeline is not optimal. For anybody.

The weed comes to New York on many modes of transportation. “It’s like prohibition,” Brian says. “You ever seen that show ‘Moonshiners’? It’s like that. They’re hiding it in VW vans or putting it in trucks and covering it in manure. Anything they can f**king think of.”

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A.G.Holder's Big Cutting Crime Step:Opening Up Banks

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As crazy as it seems, there's a financial issue on the federal level that has been cause for alarm in the legalized marijuana industry. Note: I said legalized. By that I refer to transactions for medical marijuana purchases (in 20 states plus D.C.) and legal recreational buys in Colorado and soon Washington state. You see, because of archaic federal laws making cannabis a Schedule One drug, purchases are illegal by federal standards despite being legal in a number of states for varying purposes.

So if it's legal in some states, what's the problem with banking?

Simple. Banks are currently barred under federal banking regulations from handling proceeds from marijuana sales even in states where pot sales have been made legal. Banks are also prohibited from doing other banking business with these vendors like loans and investments. Simply put, that means vendors can't deposit their "state legal" revenues in banks.

That trickles down to the customers who are mandated to cash only purchases -- no credit/debit cards. It also means employees have to be paid in cash as the vendors can't have checking accounts if their deposits were made from marijuana purchases. Loans and investments too are verboten for sellers who want to expand or improve their facility -- perhaps to add security measures to safeguard all of the cash-carrying customers.

Finally the Obama Administration Attorney General, Eric Holder, has seen the light -- and gotten at the very least, a nod from the POTUS to take steps which will help guarantee taxes being paid on these purchases -- a gray area in the state legal system but felonious on the federal level. That's right -- Colorado could tax your purchase, but wasn't allowed to pay federal taxes on the money. They would have to send cash via pony express or Wells Fargo Wagon to deliver the tax revenues as the money couldn't be wired. The result was no federal revenues were collected.

Money talks. Especially federal tax revenues.

As reported today on the HuffPo:

Jan 23 (Reuters) - U.S. treasury and law enforcement agencies will soon issue regulations opening banking services to state-sanctioned marijuana businesses even though cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

Finally, some common sense out of Washington. Let's face it, if states are fighting to legalize something that shouldn't have been criminalized in the first place (remember the Volstead Act), at least let them levy their taxes and be able to put them somewhere safer than in the mattresses. And lets send the applicable tax revenue to the IRS. If we can get cannabis tax receipts sent to Washington, maybe next we can do something about collecting those soft off-shore tax loophole revenues. Talk about putting a dent in the federal deficit.

This is a step in the right direction. It's late, but like many good things, better late than never.

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