The agreement between lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) gives the state’s cannabis businesses the ability to operate like companies in other industries, which do not face the same barriers as those in the cannabis industry. Based on the state’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, the tax break is set to apply to taxable years beginning on and after Jan. 1, 2022.
Cannabis’ status as a federally illegal Schedule I substance prevents cannabis-related businesses from deducting business expenses on their federal returns under Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code. According to MarketWatch, lawmakers claimed that the Section 280E exemption “has impacted legal cannabis companies, including small and medium sized businesses.”
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Those in support of the change hope to see the jurisdiction’s cannabis companies experience a much-needed financial boost after many years of dealing with bureaucratic red tape that has made it difficult to profit from the industry.
Some other states have also begun exploring ways to assist cannabis companies in the midst of legal gray areas. For example, California lawmakers introduced a bill in March that would allow cannabis operators to receive a tax credit in the amount equal to certain business expenses, including employment compensation, safety training, and more.
By aiding legal cannabis businesses, proponents of this kind of legislation believe the illicit market will begin to deteriorate.
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