Tag: kind leaf

Amazon Reaffirms Commitment to Cannabis Legalization, Reinstates Employment Eligibility

While I do my best to support small, locally-owned businesses (one of the many reasons that the Oregon cannabis community should shop at Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique), it’s no secret that corporate giants exert a huge amount of influence in our political system. While we many of us may have our own personal criticisms of Amazon, it is good to see the business behemoth get on the right side of history and support cannabis legalization. The online powerhouse made major waves when it initially announced that it would stop testing (most) employees for cannabis and support federal policy changes, and it has reaffirmed its commitment to the cause by reinstating the eligibility of those previously denied employment for past positive drug tests, according to a new company blog post:

“We made these changes for a few reasons. First, we recognized that an increasing number of states are moving to some level of cannabis legalization—making it difficult to implement an equitable, consistent, and national pre-employment marijuana testing program. Second, publicly available national data indicates that pre-employment marijuana testing disproportionately impacts people of color and acts as a barrier to employment. And third, Amazon’s pace of growth means that we are always looking to hire great new team members, and we’ve found that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis allows us to expand our applicant pool.

“Given our previous support for legalizing cannabis at the federal level, as well as expunging certain criminal records and investing in impacted businesses and communities, Amazon recently announced our support for, and began actively lobbying on, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act). We are also pleased to endorse the recently introduced Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Actread our comments on that legislation.

“Pre-employment marijuana testing has disproportionately affected communities of color by stalling job placement and, by extension, economic growth, and we believe this inequitable treatment is unacceptable. As we shared earlier this year, we aim to become Earth’s Best Employer, and as part of that journey, we know that our local communities and future generations need us to be better every day—thus the creation of our new Leadership Principle, Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility. Together, these principles speak to our responsibility to effect change and are our impetus for both driving for societal change and maintaining the right internal policies to ensure a great workplace with equitable and consistent hiring practices for all candidates. That’s why we strongly believe the time has come to reform the nation’s cannabis policy, and we are committed to helping lead the effort.”

Politics often make strange bedfellows, so I personally welcome Amazon and any other business that wants to use its power to end the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition. While we always must remain vigilant to ensure that small businesses don’t get completely trampled, starting with our own personal decisions, but also in advocating for regulations that don’t completely squeeze out the mom-and-pops, we can welcome new advocates into our movement for freedom. The days of Reefer Madness prohibition are clearly numbered, but we must continue to work hard to legalize it right.

Kind Leaf is proud to supply the best cannabis community in the world with the best selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest. Please see our menu, deals, and discounts on Leafly and thank you for your support.

New Cannabis Lounges in Illinois are Flourishing, Oregon Needs to Take Note

“We get 60- and 70-year-old dudes walking in with their tie-dye. I love that,” Holly Roeder owner of the Luna Lounge told the Chicago Tribune.

It’s one thing to see Colorado and California move forward with legalized and regulated cannabis lounges as they were the first states to pass adult-use and medical laws, respectfully. With its libertarian culture on a variety of fronts, it makes sense that Nevada would be a pioneer on lounges and other tourist attractions as well. But allowing Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, in America’s Heartland, to pass Oregon as a pioneer in anything cannabis-related is just blasphemy.

While Oregon’s cannabis industry has exceeded initial projections in both job creation and revenue generation, helping fund schools, drug treatment providers, harm reduction services, and recovery programs, we can still do better. Small businesses, the backbone of our great nation, need assistance, and that’s more true within the cannabis industry than in most other business sectors, as entrepreneurs often face burdensome regulations, unnecessary banking fees, and an effective federal tax rate over 60%. As the Chicago Tribune reported, some of the first cannabis lounges are off to a successful start:

“When Holly Roeder opened the Luna Lounge in rural Sesser in July, she expected to get some young stoner customers. As she discovered, the clientele turned out to be older — typically over 40, up to 90, most of them medical marijuana patients.

***

“More than a month after opening, the Luna Lounge is thriving, sometimes drawing capacity crowds around 70 people to hear bands on weekend nights. It isn’t licensed to sell cannabis or alcohol, but customers can bring in their own weed and rent or buy pipes or bongs to smoke. Officials say there have been no problems there.

“At another college town, DeKalb, Aroma’s Hookah Bar serves tobacco and also allows customers to bring in their own marijuana. Since opening in June, the store has offered promotions such as a $12 fee for unlimited time smoking cannabis in its lounge, or $5 on Wednesday, with free arcade games. They serve snacks and nonalcoholic drinks, and customers can play board games.”

Just like a lot of people don’t like the smell of tobacco smoke, plenty of people don’t want to smell cannabis smoke on the streets. A very simple solution is to give the cannabis community safe, regulated locales to utilize their cannabis away from the general public. Tourism dollars are extremely important to a lot of Oregon communities and cannabis cafes, lounges, tasting rooms, and other consumption-friendly businesses would generate more jobs and revenue for the state. There are obvious safety and health concerns to adopt as Oregon looks to follow in the footsteps of other states, but there shouldn’t be anything holding back the Beaver State from fully embracing the cannabis industry like it has with its wine and microbrewery industries.

In the near future, Kind Leaf would love to open the best cannabis cafe in Pendleton, but in the meantime, we are happy to operate the premier craft cannabis boutique with the best selection in the Great Northwest. Please visit us, or check out our menu, deals, and discounts via Leafly.

Featured photo courtesy of Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance.

Colorado Makes Game-Changer Moves for the Cannabis Industry, Oregon Should Eventually Follow Suit

Virtually all of the states that have legalized cannabis have seen bigger-than-expected revenue and job numbers, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story, especially for locally-owned craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf as the federal tax burden and other regulatory hurdles really squeeze profit margins. It is imperative that states continue to look to ways to help mom-and-pops survive and thrive in a highly-regulated and competitive market that gives advantages to out-of-state multinational corporations traded on stock exchanges. One way to benefit locals who know their community the best is to open up avenues that will boost tourism for those visiting the state and entertainment options for residents, especially with more states ending prohibition within their borders. Colorado, the first state to vote to legalize, has moved forward with some common-sense moves allowing localities to regulate smoking lounges, tasting rooms and tour buses, as the The Denver Post reported:

“Denver and Aurora are among the first cities in Colorado to adopt on-site and mobile cannabis consumption, according to Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, and the new rules mark what could be the rollout of the final phase of pot legalization in the state.

“According to CannaCon, which puts on cannabis expos across the country, seven U.S. states — including California, Nevada and New York — have passed laws or are considering legislation allowing gathering places for weed users.

***

“Mobile venues would have to have a partition separating the driver from the passengers — and their pot smoke — as well as separate filter systems for both the front and back of the bus. The cannabis buses won’t be allowed to stop outside schools, hospitals or in-patient substance abuse facilities.”

One Colorado cannabis entrepreneur rightly called these new cannabis hospitality options a “game-changer” for the industry. It is simply nonsensical to allow travelers to purchase from retailers but then prohibit them from having any legal place to utilize their cannabis. Tasting rooms can be a boom for Oregon’s farms like Green Bodhi and Siskiyou Sungrown, and so many other excellent cultivators producing the best cannabis in the world. Just like wineries and distilleries can have tours and tasting rooms, so should Oregon’s cannabis farmers. The Beaver State has long been a leading pioneer on cannabis, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from others and legislators and policymakers should certainly monitor the advancements Colorado and other states are making in cannabis hospitality options and follow suit in due time.

Kind Leaf is looking forward to a future of hosting an on-site consumption lounge in beautiful Pendleton, but in the meantime, please swing by the best craft cannabis boutique in Oregon and peruse the greatest selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest. As always, we have special deals and discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Top Financial Firm Estimates National Cannabis Sales to Double in Two Years

The timing of when the federal government will finally end cannabis prohibition in the United States is always a prominent topic among advocates and industry professionals alike, and, if your circle of friends is anything like mine, a common discussion point at social gatherings as well. With the United States House of Representatives passing a legalization bill twice and public support at an all-time high, everyone can see that the war on cannabis is crumbling, but getting legislation through both chambers and Congress and signed by the president of the United States remains a Herculean task, even though it’s common sense to see that legalization is a much better policy than waging a failed war against our own nonviolent citizens. Even without any certainty that Uncle Sam will legalize within the next couple of years, top financial services firm Canter Fitzgerald predicts that sales numbers will be extremely robust, more than doubling current numbers by 2023, as Business Insider covered:

“There’s no doubt that, if approved, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s cannabis legalization bill would be a historic event for the U.S. cannabis industry. Doubtless, the market would explode. But, what is likely to happen to the market if that does not happen and there are no policy changes at the federal level?

“Cantor Fitzgerald’s Pablo Zuanic believes that even without such changes, U.S. multi-state operators will continue to benefit from ever-increasing sales growth and new legal states that are rolling out their adult-use marijuana programs or enhancing their existing medical cannabis programs.

According to the analyst, sales should hit $36 billion by 2023, up from $17 billion in 2020.” 

Increasing sales numbers are good news for the legalization movement, but the headlines about record-breaking financial numbers are often misleading cannabis consumers about the plight of small retailers. Craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf are hamstrung by a lack of access to regular financial services and an unreasonable tax burden. When the cannabis community supports local businesses, you are helping the fight to end prohibition while keeping more of your hard-earned dollars within your state and community, instead of shipping the dollars to international corporations. The end of cannabis prohibition is in sight, but let’s legalize the right way and ensure that small businesses, the true economic engine of our economy, are able to thrive in the industry.

Kind Leaf is proud to support our friends and neighbors and to help fund important programs for our community. Please check out the best selection of cannabis in the Great Northwest and remember that we provide weekly deals and discounts for senior citizens, military veterans, and OMMP patients.

SAFE Banking Act Gets Key Support from Cannabis Legalization Sponsor

It was two steps forward, one step back for the cannabis community when Senators Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden introduced their legalization proposal, but Sen. Booker initially seemed to oppose the SAFE Banking Act and other more incremental reforms. While ending federal prohibition is certainly the ultimate goal, many of us remain adamant that incremental changes should not be set aside completely, following the old adage of “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

While we certainly need to remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and, at the very least, regulate cannabis similarly to tobacco and alcohol, two much more deadlier substances, cannabis businesses need access to regular banking services yesterday. Lacking access to bank accounts and other financial services particularly hurt small retailers like Kind Leaf who want nothing more than to provide quality cannabis at the most affordable prices possible. The extra fees and labor needed to comply with current federal banking laws unnecessarily increase prices for adult consumers and patients battling debilitating medical conditions alike. Thankfully, Senator Booker has just explained his position, announcing his support for the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act, as Yahoo Finance reported:

“Booker clarified his stance a bit to affirm his support for the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act, conceding it could be a sweetener to get moderates on board with more progressive reforms.

“’Don’t get me wrong, I support the SAFE Banking Act. I think it’s a phenomenal bill,” he said. ‘For me, a good bipartisan bill like the banking bill is a necessary sweetener to get people to move along on the equitable justice elements that are really critical.’

“Proponents of the SAFE Banking Act note that it has successfully passed the House four times with bipartisan support, but never made it to the Senate for a vote when the chamber was under Republican control. While the bill lacks an outright focus on restorative justice, advocates note that the bill does address issues around access to banking that impacts minority entrepreneurs and corporations alike. The bill’s co-sponsor in the House, Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D., Colo.), has also repeatedly warned that cannabis workers having to handle large amounts of cash remains a public safety issue.”

In addition to the extra costs that dispensaries incur, a lack of normal banking services increase the risk to employees and the local community. Anyone stating that they are concerned about public health at all should support the SAFE Banking Act as lives are literally at stake. Portland, Oregon, has already suffered the tragic loss of a budtender, we don’t need to lose any more good people for no reason other than the remnants of policies infected by Reefer Madness. Step by step, Congress needs to pass policies that end federal prohibition. Let’s start with the SAFE Banking Act as a common sense first step towards a sane and rational cannabis policy.

Kind Leaf strives to provide the best selection at the best prices. Check out our menu via Leafly and you can even order online. We always have deals and discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Olympic Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson Suspended for Using Cannabis to Cope with Mother’s Death, Sports World Enraged at Latest Reefer Madness Nonsense

“We all have our different struggles, we all have our different things we deal with, but to put on a face and have to go out in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain. Who are you? Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with a pain or you’re dealing with a struggle that you’ve never experienced before or that you never thought you’d have to deal with. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you you’re wrong for hurting?” Sha’Carri Richardson, U.S. sprinter with the sixth fastest 100 meters time in history.

The cannabis community has many reasons to celebrate freedom this July 4th Independence Day holiday, with so much momentum on our side. This week, New Mexico, Connecticut, and Virginia officially legalized, bringing us up to a total of 19 states and our nation’s capital and 44% of United States citizens now living in locales that have ended Reefer Madness prohibition within their borders. But, as usual in activism, there is more work to be done on a lot of fronts, and the plight of American Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is an important reminder of that work. Richardson was in Oregon, the fourth state to legalize and whose citizens just celebrated the sixth anniversary of legalization, for the Olympic trials when she learned from a reporter that her biological mother had passed away. To help cope with that trauma, Ms. Richardson utilized cannabis, not violating any state law, but unfortunately the arcane rules of her sport.

ESPN reported:

“The United States Anti-Doping Agency on Friday announced that Richardson has accepted a one-month suspension. In accepting the penalty, Richardson’s results from the U.S. Olympic trials have been ‘disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes,’ USADA said in a statement.

“Richardson tested positive at the Olympic trials last month where she established herself as a gold-medal contender by winning the 100 meters in 10.86 seconds.”

From Reuters:

“USADA said that her ban was reduced to one month because she had used cannabis out of competition and it was unrelated to sport performance. She also successfully completed a counselling program regarding her use of the drug.

“The ban could leave Richardson, the fastest American woman this year with a time of 10.72 seconds, clear to race in the 4x100m relay at the Olympics in the first week of August, if she is one of two athletes selected by USATF on top of the first four trials finishers.

***

“‘This incident was about marijuana, so after my sanction is up I’ll be back and able to compete and every single time I step on the track I’ll be ready for whatever anti-doping agency to come and get what it is that they need.'”

We’ve seen important changes regarding cannabis testing in sports recently, but obviously more work needs to be done as Richardson joins Usain Bolt, the fastest man of all-time, and Michael Phelps, the fastest swimmer of all-time, as great Olympic talents that have happened to use cannabis. Heartwarmingly, the sports world has largely rallied around Sha’Carri, including two of my favorite sports ballers, Portland Trail Blazer great Damian Lillard and Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in the National Football League.

I think that I can speak for the entire cannabis community in saying that we are all pulling for Sha’Carri Richardson and that we will all be pulling for her as she overcomes this momentary setback to have a tremendous career. Hopefully, this will be the last time that Olympic dreams are dashed by Reefer Madness nonsense.

Kind Leaf is the best place to celebrate freedom this year and every year. Come into our shop to check out the best selection of cannabis in Oregon or shop online via Leafly. We always have great deals and discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients.

Celebrate Oregon’s Cannabis Legalization Anniversary with Kind Leaf

It’s been 6 years since the great state of Oregon officially legalized cannabis for adults at least 21 years old and it’s been a wild ride with ups and downs and twist and turns, but Oregonians can be proud of our pioneering spirit creating more freedom, jobs, and revenue. The Beaver State has a long history of helping lead the nation away from Reefer Madness prohibition, starting with becoming the first state to decriminalize personal possession all the way back in 1973, being one of the early states to adopt medical and adult use laws, and now leading the charge against the failed Drug War with the passage of the landmark Measure 109 psilocybin therapy and Measure 110 drug decriminalization laws in 2020.

Each advancement helps set the stage for the next positive step and needless to say, Measure 110 wouldn’t have passed without the Measure 91 legalization law leading the way in 2014. While a few counties defacto legalized before July 1, 2015, with lead prosecutors announcing that they would follow the will of the voters early, the first day of July marks when the entire state officially ended prohibition within its borders.

Come celebrate Oregon’s cannabis legalization anniversary and stock up for your July 4th celebration at Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique. At Kind Leaf, you get the best selection and you are supporting local small business that gives back to the community.

This week’s specials at Kind Leaf, until July 5th or supplies last (and please remember that there are always discounts for military veterans, OMMP patients, and senior citizens):

Flower:

15% OFF – Paradise Circus and MAC

30% OFF – Tokyo Snow and Strawberry Cream

40% OFF – Charvak and DoggFace Prepacked Flower 1/8th

Edibles:

15% OFF – Gron Pips and Estaweeda Granola

30% OFF – Mule Kicker Gummy – Hella Melon, LOL Doob Cube – Mango and Happy Cabbage Hemp Tinctures

Extracts:

15% OFF – Quantum Alchemy Extracts

30% OFF – Bobsled Extracts, Willamette Valley Alchemy .5g Vapes and Shatters

40% OFF – Highland Provision .5g Live Rosin Vape – Lemon Royale

Prerolls:

15% OFF – Epic Family Farm Packs Prerolls

30% OFF – Loyal Prerolls

While it is amazing to be able to legally purchase cannabis and other products, most importantly we have improved lives by ending thousands of harmful arrests and expunging criminal convictions. Just over a decade ago, nearly 15,000 people were being arrested and cited for cannabis, and now it’s less than 1,000. In 2010, there almost 30,000 people were arrested/cited for drug offenses, and now it’s less than 10,000 while that number will plummet even more thanks to the passage of Measure 110. Racial disparities in drug arrests have also decreased and our state has reallocated tens of millions of dollars away from investing in the prison-industrial complex to investing in our people, funding much-needed and life-saving treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs.

There’s more work to be done to fully dismantle the Drug War and bring more equity and justice to the cannabis community, but we can take a moment to enjoy the gains that we’ve made. And as Oregonians celebrate the 6th year of legal cannabis, we are joined by Connecticut and Virginia who just became legal as well. Now, more than 40% of our nation live in states with legal cannabis. A sincere thanks to all advocates that are working to legalize freedom. Step by step, state by state, until we are all equal and free.

$302 Million in Oregon Cannabis Tax Revenue Set Aside for Drug Treatment, Harm Reduction, and Recovery Programs

“This is an opportunity for us to lead not only in our state but in the nation,” Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski.

As a pioneer in both cannabis and drug policy reforms, Oregon has been helping lead the rest of the nation since the becoming the first to decriminalize cannabis possession all the way back in 1973. As the third state to vote to end cannabis prohibition in 2014 and the first to end criminal punishments for personal drug possession in 2020, Oregonians are demonstrating like Portugal did over two decades ago, that the failed and harmful Drug War isn’t the only way, that a new approach is better; we can invest in people, instead of just more and more prisons. Following the passage of Measure 110 and its enacting legislation, Senate Bill 755, $302 million of the state’s cannabis tax revenue has been set aside for much-needed drug treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs, over the next two years.

With $151 million a year going towards life-saving programs, the Oregon cannabis community can be proud to shop at local craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, knowing that your hard-earned money will be invested in improving lives. The Oregon Health Justice & Recovery Alliance, the coalition that spearheaded legislative efforts released a press release announcing the passage of SB 755:

Senate Bill 755, a bill that helps create and solidify a strong Measure 110 program, has passed both legislative chambers after a final vote today by the Oregon House of Representatives. The bill passed the House 39-15 and passed the Senate earlier this session 21-8. SB 755 received bipartisan support in both chambers.

SB 755 strengthens the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act by:

  • Creating access to lifesaving harm reduction and addiction recovery services in all 36 counties;
  • Streamlining processes for courts by sending verification of screening assessments electronically to the jurisdictional court;
  • Requiring that youth to be referred to the juvenile system for assessment and resources, rather than adult court;
  • Requiring the collection of data to better understand and address the needs of local communities; and
  • Designating a specific portion of Measure 110 grant funding to Tribes and other BIPOC communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.

As chief petitioner of the Measure 91 legalization law and one of the chief petitioners of Measure 110, I certainly have my biases, but Oregonians can be proud of taking a sledgehammer to the racist and classist War on Drugs. Our laws should be about people, not about the drugs. It’s easy to fearmonger, but in reality, what we want for our loved ones is a better policy than just arresting and jailing nonviolent drug users. I’m so proud that a majority of Oregon voters have seen through the smokescreen of prohibitionists and understand that providing treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services work more effectively than harmful criminal convictions.

I’m especially pleased that a specific portion of cannabis tax revenue is being allocated towards Indigenous Tribes, and the Black and Brown communities most harmed by the Drug War. It has warmed my heart reading about how the Miracles Club, Oregon’s only organization targeting the African American recovery community, has already received over $200,000 thanks to the passage of Measure 110. This first round of funding has allowed Miracles to hire three new peer mentors as well as additional support staff, with the goal of turning the center into Portland’s first full-scale treatment facility tailored to communities of color.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Centro Latino Americano, La Clinica, Yellowhawk Tribal Health, Black Mental Health Oregon, and Northwest Instituto Latino de Adicciones were also some of the recipients specializing in helping BIPOC who received grants in the first wave of Measure 110 funding. So many organizations, such as these and the Alano Club of Portland, Outside In, the Portland People’s Outreach Project, Bridges to Change, and Central City Concern, literally doing life-saving work, will now be able to help more people thanks to Measure 110 and Senate Bill 755.

When you hear of prohibitionists seeking to repeal Measure 110, know that they are advocating for thousands of unnecessary drug possession arrests that disproportionately target people of color and the poor. These prohibitionists, if they get their way, will be taking funding away from treatment, harm reduction, and recovery organizations and setting our tax dollars on fire by giving it to the prison-industrial complex instead. Oregon voters have helped lead the way towards ending the Drug War, but we must be vigilant to protect our gains. But, it’s okay to celebrate how far we have come.

When you shop at Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique, you are getting the best selection of the best cannabis in the Great Northwest and supporting a small business that gives back to the local community. Come into our beautiful store or shop online via Leafly. Remember to check out our deals and know that we always provide discounts to military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Justice Thomas Questions Prohibition as Supreme Court Denies 280E Cannabis Tax Relief

Craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, their customers, and local communities are hurt by the dreaded IRS 280E tax code that prohibits most normal business tax deductions for cannabis retailers. While the effective 70%+ tax burden is bad enough, the headlines about record-breaking sales often leads legislators, policymakers, and voters to support higher local taxes and fees (often aided by large multinational corporations that are better suited to withstand the unnecessary costs). Cannabis businesses are often forced to pass along expenses to their customers in an effort to stay in business while the headlines about the money being brought in by the industry provide a misleading picture of the real world economic situation. Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear Colorado dispensary Standing Akimbo‘s challenge of the unfair 280E tax burden, but one silver lining was Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion that questions federal cannabis prohibition altogether, as NBC News reported:

“Clarence Thomas, one of the Supreme Court‘s most conservative justices, said Monday that because of the hodgepodge of federal policies on marijuana, federal laws against its sale or cultivation may no longer make sense.

“‘A prohibition on interstate use or cultivation of marijuana may no longer be necessary or proper to support the federal government’s piecemeal approach,’ he wrote.

“His views came as the court declined to hear the appeal of a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary that was denied federal tax breaks that other businesses are allowed.”

Justice Thomas, from his statement:

“At issue here is a provision of the Tax Code that allows most businesses to calculate their taxable income by subtracting from their gross revenue the cost of goods sold and other ordinary and necessary business expenses, such as rent and employee salaries. But because of a public-policy provision in the Tax Code, companies that deal in controlled substances prohibited by federal law may subtract only the cost of goods sold, not the other ordinary
and necessary business expenses. See 26 U. S. C. §280E. Under this rule, a business that is still in the red after it
pays its workers and keeps the lights on might nonetheless owe substantial federal income tax.”

Justice Thomas is correct in concluding that cannabis businesses do not enjoy “equal treatment” under the law and that federal prohibition is un “unstable” policy that lacks coherence. Congress needs to step up and reform the IRS tax code and allow normal banking services. Hardworking small business owners and those that support them are unnecessarily seeing money flow to Washington, D.C., instead of remaining in their local communities where they can do the most good. Everyday we take a step closer to ending Reefer Madness prohibition, but common sense in government can certainly move at a snail’s pace far too often.

California Allocates $100 Million to Support its Local Cannabis Industry, Oregon and Other States Should Follow Suit

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.