April 13 2021,


(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

MJBiz published a series of stories based on more than 200 pages of IRS documents pertaining to the enforcement of industry-hated tax law 280E. (Introduction, Part 1, Part 2) It obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among the findings:

  • Audits of cannabis companies can be substantially more profitable for the tax agency than audits of mainstream companies.
  • IRS agents have become more sophisticated in their enforcement of 280E and the agency appears unlikely to back away from enforcing it before federal legalization.
  • Part 1 discussed how the agency undertook sweeping multi-year audit programs of the industry driven largely by its belief that operators are skirting their tax obligations. These operations paid off handsomely.
  • Part 2 reveals the IRS's game plan for auditing cannabis companies. 
  • The documents obtained by MJBiz can be downloaded here.

Mainstream brands increasingly regard young, free-spending cannabis consumers as a "dream demographic," Bloomberg reports:

"[Uber]hired cannabis advertiser Fyllo late last year in its first attempt to specifically target pot users when advertising its food-delivery service, Uber Eats. And it’s not just about serving people who have the munchies after smoking marijuana, says Uber’s global head of media, Travis Freeman.

“A cannabis consumer is younger than the normal consumer, has more disposable income; they are busier than most, they are working all the time, exercising all the time, going on adventures all the time,” Freeman told me in an interview. The results have been good: Uber has found that cannabis users are more likely to watch and complete video ads than the average consumer."

Read the whole thing.

Related: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company would be open to delivering cannabis once it's federally legal.

Quick Hit

  1. "Marijuana legalization has won."
(Getty Images)

New York magazine calls New York's new REC law "a major piece of progressive legislation" one which it suggests will provide opportunities for equity businesses.

  • It notes that the law involves limits on MSOs by blocking them from vertically integrating REC businesses and placing caps on the number of shops they can run. (Their MED licenses can be vertically integrated.)
  • The story also suggests New York's incubator loan problem could address financing for equity businesses, a perennial problem even outside the cannabis industry.
  • MSO Curaleaf has announced plans to partner with equity businesses including in New York.  “If a dispensary is scraping things together, coming up with the money to buy cannabis is going to be tough,” says Patrik Jonsson, the regional president of Curaleaf’s Northeast operations. “But we can give product for free up front with deferred payments to get up and running, something we’ve done over and over again in other states.”
  • In Slate, I was more skeptical of equity businesses' prospects.

Read the New York story.

Separately, New York's law protects the jobs of employees who use cannabis when they're not at work.
HR Dive

IN THE NEWS — 4/14/21


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