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Are cannabis businesses in OZs still subject to tax code 280E?

How can I get a tax credit if cannabis has an illegal status under federal law? Do I only get the state’s tax benefit?

  • Matthew Rappaport
    February 12, 2020

    This is an unresolved issue in the tax community. Steve Mnuchin has said he does not believe the OZ benefits should apply to cannabis-based businesses. There is no question the business would still be subject to 280E. There are a few variables here, such as nationwide legalization prior to the ten years kicking in. It's important to understand OZ benefits are not tax credits. They require profit to have any effect. Marijuana is not listed among the "sin businesses," so a literal interpretation of the statute suggests it wouldn't disqualify an enterprise.

  • Guy Nicio
    February 11, 2020

    Yes, OZ does not override 280E. Thus 280E still applies.


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