Recently, a pharmaceutical research and manufacturing
center in New York was repurposed for the intent of growing and refining medical marijuana.
In fact, with the spread of legalized or decriminalized weed, corporations have been scrambling to
cash in and gain market share on this legally murky drug. But why isn’t corporate weed
more common? In countries like Canada, medical marijuana
is a big business. But originally, there were few limits on who could grow marijuana to
resell. Between government grow-ops, private farms, and small businesses all doing the
same thing, police and local governments ended up regularly complaining about the unregulated
system. Today, medical marijuana users in Canada are limited to one of several large,
government approved, corporate growers. They are expected to bring in over 3 billion Canadian
dollars over the next ten years. But in the United States, the federal government
is less accepting of large or small scale growers. Since marijuana is still technically
illegal on a federal level, the risk involved is significantly higher, and the whole process
is more complicated. Growers are prohibited from using federal water in their operations,
and many banks have been reticent to loan or accept marijuana money. And although the Department of Justice has
promised to cool off on prosecutions, they still openly threaten the marijuana business.
In a memo to US attorney, the DOJ reaffirmed that marijuana was a quote “dangerous drug”
and that they would continue enforcing anti-drug laws. Their regulatory attempts at stopping
interstate trafficking, use by minors, intoxicated driving, and perhaps most ironically, criminal
revenue from pot sales, threaten the US marijuana industry. On top of everything else, the foggy legality
of marijuana creates significant tax revenue problems. Pot falls under section 280E of
the tax code, which prohibits tax credits or deductions on any federally illegal drugs.
In response, the IRS points the blame at Congress, which has thus far refused to decriminalize. There are a number of hurdles to clear before
an effective system of sales and revenue can be established. Looking at Colorado, it’s
clear that the federal government is missing out on at least some significant taxable income.
In just the year since it was legalized in that state, pot brought in $36.5 million dollars
in taxes alone. That’s not to mention the ancillary jobs created and money made from
increased tourism. Still, marijuana legislation has changed more in the past few years than
it has in the past few decades. It’s only a matter of time until public opinion changes
public policy and paves the way for corporate marijuana. The business of Marijuana has already been
booming in some pretty interesting ways. Check out how some are hosting high class marijuana
dinner parties, in our latest episode of Seeker Stories. Thanks for watching, and don’t
forget to subscribe!