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Cash Only… Medical Marijuana

The Social Media team at the firm is always reminding me to use titles and wording that will help optimize my blogs. Then, I’ll write a blog and realize that I have a real boring title and that I have gone off in so many directions with the blog, that there is no optimization hope! I now imagine that you are nodding “yes”.

This time, I figured I had a title that would optimize. Then, I realized that I was wandering off topic again.

OK… here’s the real topic. The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Californians are now learning that they have to pay cash for their medical marijuana. Visa and MasterCard will no longer honor their purchases. Maybe ATM machines are going to see a new influx of business fees.

This topic has always interested me because it’s a State versus Federal issue. Marijuana for medical use is legal in 17 states plus the District of Columbia. However, it is still against federal law to “distribute or cultivate marijuana” and such properties are subject to forfeiture.

In 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo to U.S. attorneys around the country,  that they should “not focus federal resources in your states on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana”.

Some of these marijuana dispensaries are facing problems with the IRS because they have attempted to deduct business expenses from their tax returns, like payroll and office rent; and the government will not allow such deductions for “the trafficking of controlled substances”. Guess they will have to hit the ATM a few more times for that too.

This is an interesting addition to the Politics of States’ rights!

For pic o’ day, I thought I would post something on “how to improve a golf game”.

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