The cannabis industry has been one of the brightest spots in our nation’s economy over the last few years, continuing to break records for creating jobs and generating revenue. However, the huge financial numbers are masking the fact that craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf and other small businesses have been competing with one hand tied behind their back as burdensome regulations, over taxation, and a lack of banking services has unnecessarily stifled business.
While each state is different, one common element is that federal prohibition has unfairly increased the cost of doing business by denying normal financial services and imposing an exorbitant tax burden on cannabis entrepreneurs. State governments can’t force Uncle Sam to pass a cannabis banking bill or repeal the ridiculous 280e IRS tax code, but they can invest in true homegrown small businesses that benefit the local economy more so than multinational corporations that have had a vested interest in perpetuating over regulation to squeeze out mom and pops.
The Los Angeles Times reported on a bill approved by the California Assembly this week that includes $100 million and identifies 17 cities and counties earmarked to receive grants. Oregon and other states should follow suit and help grow the burgeoning industry:
“Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.
“California voters paved the way for state licensing of cannabis stores, farms, distributors and testing when they approved Proposition 64 in 2016. State officials initially expected to license as many as 6,000 cannabis shops in the first few years, but permits have been issued only for 1,086 retail and delivery firms.
“Supporters of legalization blame the discrepancy on problems that they say include high taxes on licensed businesses, burdensome regulations and the decision of about three-quarters of cities in California not to allow cannabis retailers in their jurisdictions.”
Beaver State government officials only expected to bring in $40 million per year in cannabis tax revenue, a number that is gonna top $150 million and is predicted to continue to climb. It is in the interest of all Oregonians that actual Oregonians are able to survive and thrive in this competitive market. Big corporations with shareholders can easily absorb the extra fees and taxes while buying out smaller competition, but those profits leave the state, if not the country. The Oregon Equity Investment Act would be a good start in building up a local cannabis industry and the state should be continually looking into how it can promote an industry that Oregon should be helping lead as the federal Reefer Madness Era comes to an end. But if we don’t invest in local Oregonians, both as a state and as consumers, it won’t be many Oregonians owning cannabis businesses in the state.
Kind Leaf is proud to create jobs and generate revenue for important services for our neighbors in Pendleton and the great state of Oregon, which we love. We’re also proud to be able to provide discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.