Even though cannabis is still illegal federally in the US, the states that allow it have to deal with some complicated tax and money matters. People who are working in the cannabis industry in the few states that have legalized have pretty severe financial restrictions, such as the ability to open up a simple business account or to write and deposit any checks.
What this has done is force the cannabis businesses to work only in cash. This obviously makes business more difficult with cash transactions being the only option. This is what one director of a Sacramento-based non-profit dispensary had to say on the issue, “We’ve been a cash industry for ever and it has been quite a problem. We don’t want to drive around town paying our bills in cash. We want to be able to just go to the bank.”
The Board of Equalization, which collects various sales taxes in the state of California, says that they received roughly $200 million in taxes from cannabis business last year, and often times huge amounts of cash are deposited at once such as $400,000 and $150,000. This creates security issues for the people driving with big sums in their cars, as well as security threats for the cash being in any are non-secure offices and buildings.
This is a pressing issue for both the cannabis businesses and the state officials who have to deal with these businesses. Both groups are looking for solutions but as long as cannabis remains illegal under federal law, there will always be extra hurdles for the industry.