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US (CT): Cannabis industry wants state to allow tax deduction for expenses

Connecticut's cannabis industry, competing against Rhode Island and Massachusetts dispensaries that offer sharply lower prices, wants state lawmakers to let them claim tax deductions for expenses, like any other business.

But because the federal government still lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug — classifying it with heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogens — Connecticut's 10-year-old medical cannabis industry and the three-month-old recreational-use retail industry cannot seek the deductions that the industry estimates total about 25 percent of gross sales.

The result is higher costs for medical patients and recreational-use consumers as the young retail industry needs fostering, and the social equity program aimed at helping create jobs in communities that suffered disproportionately in the failed war on drugs is barely getting started.

Tiana Hercules, a member of the city council in Hartford who recently won a provisional cannabis cultivation license through the state's Social Equity Council, said Friday that the federal tax rule is a holdover from the age of prohibition.


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