Friday, July 9th, Missouri Governor Mike Parson vetoed a bill that would have allowed the state’s medical cannabis companies to write off normal business expenses on their taxes, according to the Missouri Independent. In his veto message, the governor failed to mention the medical cannabis tax provisions, instead, he said the veto was due to a section that would provide tax relief to businesses impacted by city-wide or county-wide public health restrictions which have created “significant unintended consequences that could greatly harm localities.” The bill, which passed the Legislature in May, would have enabled the state’s medical cannabis companies to deduct normal business expenses on state tax returns, although such deductions are not allowed on federal returns due to federal cannabis prohibition.
The executive director of MoCann Trade Andrew Mullins revealed to the Missouri Independent that the organization is “disappointed by the veto” but that members “remain encouraged by the overwhelming bipartisan support for a measure of basic tax fairness that received near-unanimous votes in both the state House and Senate.” Mullins continued on, stating, “As our state’s newest industry continues to create thousands of new jobs and generate tens of millions in new spending each month, we look forward to again passing this policy change and seeing it signed into law.” The law was the first in the nation to approve such impactful reforms despite Missouri only legalizing marijuana in 2018.
It’s already a pain for dispensaries to safely deposit their cash and Missouri is still working to provide justice for those who were incarcerated for cannabis. Section 280E of the federal tax code prohibits “any trade or business…that consists of trafficking controlled substances” to deduct normal business expenses, whether or not their business is approved by the state. This is definitely a roadblock on the way to full marijuana legalization and reform yet many are still positive that change will come.