Tax Marijuana, But What About The Deductions?

by Greg Pollowitz

As Congress wrestles with big budget cuts, one budding industry wants to help out the federal government with a novel message: Tax us, please.

Marijuana businesses and their backers say legalizing the drug and taxing it like alcohol would add billions to the federal treasury.

Some analysts dismiss a pot tax bonanza as far-fetched, neither likely nor lucrative. But the idea is stirring newly serious debate on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Finance Committee, for instance, included marijuana taxes in an “options paper” listing fresh possible sources of revenue.

In the House of Representatives, legislation is pending on two tracks. The first would legalize marijuana, tax it and regulate it on a national scale. Even advocates don’t expect that to pass anytime soon. A less ambitious bill called the Small Business Tax Equity Act would allow the Internal Revenue Service to provide immediate breaks on federal income taxes for marijuana businesses. . .