MMJ Taxes In Iowa, NC Tribe Seeks Cannabis Retail, Weed Sales In Canada And Legalization In Colombia

Iowa Asks Legislature To Change State Taxing System For Medicinal Cannabis

Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Board recently announced it will ask the state Legislature to exempt medical cannabis products from the state’s sales tax and change its business licensing procedure for dispensaries.

Board members said the state seeks to reduce costs for business owners and patients by changing state taxing systems for medicinal marijuana.

According to a local source, that includes exempting medical cannabidiol products from the state sales tax, as well as changing how the Iowa tax code classifies the sale of controlled substances.

Cannabis is a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and the Internal Revenue Code Section 280E states that businesses selling cannabis, or any other federally illegal controlled substance, cannot deduct any expenses incurred in the production, distribution, and sale of that product.

There are no current provisions in Iowa’s tax code that states 280E does not apply, as some other states with legal cannabis have added. “(It) essentially just decouples, you know, Iowa’s tax code from the federal code for these purposes,” Owen Parker, Bureau Chief for the Board said. “They’re still going to get that hit from 280E, you know, that I mentioned at the federal level, but at the state level, that burden could be reduced.”

In addition to the tax changes, members unanimously approved other recommendations, including licensing new dispensaries, adding new board members, and changing the title of the program to the "Medical Cannabis Act."

North Carolina Tribe Begins First Legal Medical Marijuana Harvest In The State

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina has begun growing medical marijuana and hopes to open its first MMJ retail store next year.

According to The Charlotte Observer, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is harvesting on tribal land about an hour west of Asheville, which is the first Native American territory in the state where medical marijuana is grown.

General manager Forrest Parker of Qualla Enterprises, the company's tribal subsidiary, said he plans to employ 400 to 500 workers when the company is fully operational. In addition, the tribe's EBCI Cannabis Control Board will regulate marijuana business licenses and issue MMJ cards, reported MjBizDaily.

Who can apply? Qualified patients over the age of 21 will be eligible to apply. Moreover, tribal leaders said that non-tribal members will be able to purchase medical marijuana as long as they have a card and meet specific criteria.

Patients will be limited to 1 ounce of marijuana per day, not to exceed 6 ounces per month, or 2,500 milligrams of THC in a product per day, not to exceed 10,000 milligrams per month. Also, the products available will mainly be flowers, pre-rolls, edibles, concentrates, and topicals.

North Carolina has been growing industrial hemp since 2017 after creating a legal industry.

Canadian Cannabis Sales Hold Steady In September

Recently, Statistics Canada released September retail sales for the country, with marijuana sales increasing from August marginally to C$389.9 million.

According to the report written by New Cannabis Venture's Alan Brochstein, "August was revised from C$393.7 million to C$389.9 million. The sales were up 12.2% from a year ago, down from the reported 13.0% August growth rate that was revised to 11.9%, the lowest since legalization began. In 2022, total sales have increased by 19.5% compared to the first nine months of 2021 to C$3.3 billion."

Image by New Cannabis Ventures

Moreover, the analyst noted that an increase in the number of stores as well as falling flower prices that bring consumers from the illicit market have been boosting sales.

Cannabis sales in the provinces, what do the numbers say? In Ontario, the largest province in population, sales were up [1.1% from August and up 15% from a year ago, reflecting the increase in the number of stores. Alberta, which is the second-largest province, was up 2.0% from August and up 13% from a year ago. Quebec was down 2.5% from August and down 3% from a year ago, while British Columbia was up 0.6% from August as it advanced 21% from a year ago,[ according to the report.

Based on its data, Hifyre IQ forecasted September sales of C$374.9 million, estimating October sales to be 0.4% lower, which would be 3.9% below the actual level and up 5.0% from a year ago. Hifyre also estimates non-flower sales at 28.9% in September and 29.5% in October. “The October sales data will be released on December 20th,” Brochstein concluded.

Colombia: Cannabis Legalization Bill Scheduled For Senate Vote This Week

A Colombian official said that the government strongly supports the legislative act that allows adult and recreational use of cannabis, which it wants to decriminalize. "While that happens, with the ministries of Health and Agriculture, we have the political will to review the costs to promote a faster, less difficult and less hurdle issuance of licenses," noted Néstor Iván Osuna Patiño, the Minister of Justice.

The cannabis proposal has been advancing in the legislature and is being he expects it to receive a vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

In a public hearing, Osuna Patiño said the country has been the victim of “a failed war that was designed 50 years ago and that due to an absurd prohibition has brought us a lot of blood, armed conflict, mafias, and crime," read an official announcement.

The government of President Gustavo Petro hopes to turn around the country's drug policy and Osuna assured that "the Government of Change has the idea of ​​regrouping all drug policy in a council that includes all the agencies and dispersed powers, which allows having a trade, agriculture, and public health approach to problematic consumption."

However, Osuna Patiño noted there is a concern that must be taken seriously: the excessive and uncontrolled consumption of cannabis, like that of tobacco or alcohol, causes damage to health. "For this reason, the regulation of the use of adult cannabis must be accompanied by solid, convincing, and efficient public health policies to avoid and solve the problems of problematic use," he concluded.


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