Maine residents may soon have a unique reason to be excited about marijuana: The state recently became the first to allow state-level marijuana business tax deductions that are prohibited under federal IRS 280E code. Governor Janet Mills signed the bill into action on Thursday, May 27th, 2021, setting in motion an exciting change in the cannabis industry in Maine.
1. Maine Governor Gives Legality to Marijuana Tax Deductions
Maine Gov. Janet Mills has introduced a bill that would allow claims for deductions from marijuana retail stores. This move, in effect, would make the deduction of marijuana retail expenses legal in the state of Maine.
The move is in response to a longstanding debate that the use of marijuana has been subject to on a state-by-state basis. In Maine, cannabis is already widely available with multiple retail locations and more than 120 retailers open as of June 2019, having sold more than $21.8 million of cannabis products in the first year of recreational sales.
The new bill would make it feasible for the marijuana retailers in the state of Maine to:
- Claim deductions for regular business expenses, such as necessary payroll and administrative costs
- Reduce the amount of taxes they owe on their income
By allowing the deduction of marijuana expenses, the Mills administration believes the retail marijuana industry in Maine will continue to grow in a way that is good for the state’s economy. It will also give cannabis retailers a boost of confidence as they can now operate more securely knowing that their costs will have proper tax deductions to cover them.
2. 280E Restrictions Lifted – State Level Businesses Benefit
Tax law reforms have made it easier for many state-level businesses to benefit from an increase in their gross sales. The 280E restrictions, which have typically made it difficult to claim deductions when selling cannabis products, have been lifted – reducing the tax burden for a great many small businesses.
Businesses selling cannabis products in a state where it has been legalized have been allowed to deduct some of their expenses. Employees doing the job legally can now be paid without fear of certain deductions being disallowed. Plus, advances in the accounting and reporting software that can be used to ensure compliance now make it easier for businesses to operate in a variety of financial and banking environments.
- Cannabis products can now be purchased and sold legally without being affected by 280E.
- Businesses operating on a state-level can now deduct certain expenses.
- Accounting and reporting software have made it easier to operate compliantly in the banking environment.
3. Impact of Tax Deductions on Businesses in Maine
The tax deductions that businesses in Maine are able to take advantage of can have a significant positive contribution to the state economy and are often the reason why many businesses choose Maine as a place to do business. Here are three key impacts that tax deductions have on businesses in Maine.
- Lower operating costs: The ability to get tax deductions can help lower a business’s operating costs, enabling them to use their savings to hire more staff, invest in new equipment, and increase their production and efficiency.
- Expanding opportunities: Thanks to the generous tax deductions available, businesses in Maine are able to take advantage of more opportunities than ever before. This means that they can be more competitive in the local market, as well as open up international avenues for growth and success.
- Positive contribution to state economy: By utilizing the tax deductions available to businesses in Maine, the state’s overall economy is boosted. This means that more jobs will be created and businesses will be able to contribute to the local community in various ways.
The benefits of tax deductions are evident. They help businesses to reduce their costs, which can give them the competitive edge they need to survive and thrive in the current market. This can also bring in new customers and markets from across the globe and help the state of Maine to make a positive contribution to the global economy.
4. Maine Setting Example of Positive Marijuana Legislation
Maine is widely known for its zeal in legalizing and regulating marijuana, from recreational use to medical usage. In November 2016, Maine was one of the first of eight states to authorize recreational marijuana. This legislation has allowed for Maine to set the stage for positive marijuana legislation across the country.
- Safe and regulated environment – Marijuana sales are regulated by the state, ensuring that marijuana consumers are able to access quality marijuana in a safe environment.
- Tax Revenue – Recreational marijuana generates tax revenue for the states, which can be used on public health, educational and justice initiatives.
- Access to medical marijuana – People in need of medical marijuana can access it when provided with a doctor’s recommendation based on state guidelines.
- Cannabis research – Universities in Maine are granted permission to conduct research on marijuana to better understand its medicinal values.
Overall, Maine has been a tremendous example of how legalized cannabis can be a boon for social improvement. The state has formed industry regulations that provide its citizens with safe access to marijuana products, while incentivizing businesses to participate in cannabis research. Moreover, the marijuana tax revenue will be invaluable for the state to fund projects that can help its citizens.
With Governor Mills’ signature, Maine businesses can finally reap the financial benefits of running a taxable marijuana business while complying with both the state and federal codes. Backed by the sound policies of their government, small businesses can now confidently look forward to the future, as Maine continues to blaze the path of marijuana and hemp reforms.