Marijuana Business Daily reported this week that a day earlier, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar had filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a ruling on the 280E tax issue that’s roiled the marijuana industry and prompted multiple lawsuits.
The IRS tax code Section 280E, explains Cornell University’s Legal Institute, states that no tax deduction or credit is allowed for any amount claimed by a business “trafficking in controlled substances,” in this case the Schedule I categorized marijuana. In other words, IRS investigations of these businesses may continue.
Previously, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that such investigations may go forward. The defendants involved in that and the current DOJ brief are several cannabis companies led by Eric Speidell of Colorado-based The Green Solution. As MJBiz Daily reported, an earlier petition was filed before the U.S. Supreme Court by Standing Akimbo, based in Denver, to halt the IRS from obtaining its business records from state regulators.
The Court of Appeals, Prelogar wrote in her brief, had “merely explained, correctly, that the federal prohibition on trafficking marijuana is itself a sufficient basis for the IRS to investigate potential violations of Section 280E by petitioners, irrespective of state law.” Prelogar, the fourth-highest-ranking official in the DOJ, pointed out that multiple Colorado marijuana companies’ legal actions against 280E enforcement had all failed.
James Thorburn, an attorney for Green Solution and Standing Akimbo, MJBiz Daily reported, has expressed disappointment in the past that the Biden administration hasn’t changed from the previous administration’s stances on marijuana.