Virginia Republican Keeps Killing State Legislature Marijuana 280E Tax Reduction Bill Governor Opposed!

This session, the Republican-controlled House of Delegates in Virginia has consistently killed marijuana reform bills passed by the Senate. The latest bill to be halted was a relatively minor bill that would have allowed medical cannabis businesses to take advantage of certain state-level tax deductions. In a vote taken on Friday, a House Finance subcommittee rejected the Senate’s plan to provide tax assistance to the cannabis business, which is currently prohibited from doing so at the federal level by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code Section 280E.

Separately, the parliament had just days before voted down proposals to reschedule psilocybin and create an advisory board on the use of the hallucinogenic following its recent rejection of a move to legalize sales of marijuana for adults. It was expected that Republicans would vote down the sales and psychedelic proposals, given the committee’s history and political composition.

However, the 4-2 vote in the House panel to table the 280E relief measure highlighted the seemingly insurmountable challenges for reform in the chamber, even for a typically GOP-supported concept like tax relief. That a member of Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin‘s (Yongkin) administration testified against the measure probably didn’t help.

During Friday’s meeting, the head of the Finance subcommittee noted that a similar bill in the House to the cannabis tax bill had also died in committee. A Democratic senator named Adam Ebbin made an effort to negotiate with the chair and get his chamber’s version of the bill sent to a different committee.

A member of the House of Representatives finally made a motion to table, and it was immediately approved. Legislators in numerous states, including New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, have pushed to separate their respective marijuana industries from the federal tax system, as was the case with the now-defeated measure in Virginia.

According to the bill’s official wording, “the limitation on utilizing tax deductions for ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in conjunction with carrying on a trade or business licensed in Virginia…to deal in medical cannabis under 280E of the Internal Revenue Code” is an exception.

For all tax years beginning in 2023, that exemption would have been in effect. The marijuana news site Marijuana Moment is keeping tabs on hundreds of proposals related to marijuana, hallucinogens, and drug policy that have been introduced in state houses and in Congress in 2019.

Subscribers to our Patreon at the $25/month level or higher will get access to our interactive maps, charts, and hearing calendar. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, a House General Laws subcommittee voted along party lines to kill Ebbin’s bill to regulate cannabis commerce that had passed the Senate.

Despite the 2021 passage of a bill legalizing cannabis possession, there have been unanswered issues regarding how the state legislature will treat adult-use cannabis sales in the 2023 session. The sales portions of the law had to be re-enacted, and the new Republican governor and GOP-controlled House in 2022 did nothing to address the matter.

Since then, the House has been a stumbling block for proponents, as lawmakers are torn on how to move forward with a potential commercial market. According to Marijuana Moment, JM Pedini, NORML’s Development Director, said that the bills failed to reach the floor of the House because of Governor Youngkin’s lack of direction.

This is the third consecutive session in which the General Assembly has failed to take control of Virginia’s marijuana market. In their own words, “Let’s be clear, Virginia has already done the job, not only by carefully examining over two decades of real-world experience from other states,” but also by successfully regulating medicinal cannabis here at home. Virginia has extensive experience with cannabis regulation, so there’s no need to start from scratch.

That is not the question. The question is whether or not Virginia will legalize marijuana. And that happened in 2021,” NORML of Virginia leader and NORML co-founder Pedini chimed in. Currently, Governor Youngkin and the General Assembly face the question. “How much longer are you willing to continue handing control of cannabis in the Commonwealth to uncontrolled criminal operators?”

In other news on psychedelics, a Virginia House committee shot down a bill last month that would have made psilocybin available for medical use by people with terminal illnesses who had a recommendation from a doctor. A “Cannabis Incubator Project” bill intended to aid social justice goals and local marijuana enterprises were recently killed in a House General Laws subcommittee.


Sheela Sharma

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Sheela is a skilled and experienced writer with a deep passion for all things related to the CBD industry. She enjoys writing everything related to CBD and Marijuana. When she isn't writing she likes to watch tv series and listen to podcasts.

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