In today’s HK Cannabis Law Newsletter, we present information regarding the following: the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision upholding the application of IRC section 280E to cannabis companies; the Texas House of Representatives’ recent passage of bill 88-40, lowering certain criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis; The US House of Representatives passage of H.R. 1996, the SAFE Banking Act; and a study showing that California’s licensed cannabis retailers are successfully preventing sales to minors.
On April 22, 2021 the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. Tax Court decision that Internal Revenue Code section 280E applied to Harborside, a cannabis industry and marijuana dispensary company based out of California. This is a disappointing, if not unexpected, ruling for the cannabis industry, which eventually hopes to secure more favorable tax regulations.
On April 30, 2021 the Texas House of Representatives passed bill 88-40, which applies to possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, reduces criminal penalties and provides a path to expungement of some criminal records. The bill still has to clear the Texas Senate.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act, which prohibits federal regulators from penalizing banks and credit unions for providing services to the cannabis industry. The bill now moves on to the U.S. Senate where companion legislation has already been introduced.
A study by researchers and experts at the Insurance Institute, University of Chicago, and the University of Minnesota conclude that licensed cannabis retailers in California are following the rules and preventing sales to minors.