Medical marijuana tax bill could benefit dispensary owners and consumers | State News

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COLOMBIA – New medical marijuana legislation could bring tax benefits to Missouri dispensaries.

Missouri House Ways and Means Committee Approved Senate Bill 807 Wednesday. The bill would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to claim deductions for business expenses on their tax returns, which is currently not allowed in Missouri because cannabis is still federally illegal.

David Smith, Treasurer of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Associationis one of the strong supporters of the bill.

“This bill is designed to put legally licensed cannabis operators on an equal footing with any other legal business in the state of Missouri,” Smith said.

Smith testified in support of the bill before the Missouri Senate last spring. He says the benefits of the bill extend beyond dispensary owners and will also help medical marijuana users financially.

“Firm-level taxation is ultimately passed on to consumers through higher prices,” Smith said. “If the corporate tax burden is reduced, we would certainly expect lower prices at the retail consumer level.”

One of the Central Missouri companies that would benefit from these tax deductions is 3Fifteen Primo Cannabis. Although it opened its doors less than two years ago, it was the first medical marijuana dispensary established in Colombia.

While he says his business could use the financial aid, owner Jason Corrado says he will pass on those benefits as well.

“Any relief from a tax burden or any relief from a financial burden will be passed on to the patient,” Corrado said.

Although the bill does not apply to federal tax deductions, Corrado says the tax deductions would be enough to get his workers and buyers to notice.

“Any advantage we may have as a company will simply allow us to offer better prices to our consumers and better treatment of employees,” Corrado said.

Opponents of the bill have argued that offering dispensaries this tax privilege reduces tax collection at the state level and imposes a greater burden on the public. However, Smith says that difference would be negligible.

“This is a new industry that is now legal,” Smith said. “Really, the state is losing tax revenue that it would be losing anyway. At the end of the day, there’s no downside. It’s really just a policy that makes sense.

The bill will arrive at the House floor. If approved by the end of the session, it could come into force by the end of August.

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