People working honest jobs in the legal weed industry are getting it from all sides; the government keeps refusing to treat them like valid business people.
First, legal weed entrepreneurs are prohibited from using the banking system, creating all manner of complications for companies forced to deal in cash only.
Despite the fact that weed businesses and dispensaries pay taxes, and in some cases quite a lot of them, they are not allowed to deduct business expenses associated with their work.
Now, in the midst of these mounting and unfair and discriminatory practices against the country’s fastest growing industry, which is expected to pull down $21 billion in earnings by 2020, a Justice Department bankruptcy watchdog has “reminded” his trustees to dismiss all bankruptcy cases that involve marijuana assets.
Cliff White, director of the U.S. Trustee Program, part of the Justice Department (DOJ), recently sent a letter to 1,100 trustees who administer bankruptcy cases.
White’s letter stated that the DOJ bankruptcy division had seen an increase in the number of bankruptcies where “marijuana assets” are disclosed, and he wants it stopped.
Bear in mind that the lack of bankruptcy protection is nothing new for legal marijuana businesses on a state level, but White’s letter was meant as a reminder that bankruptcy protection can only be resolved at the federal level.
Federal being the key word.
When a company fails or gets close to failing, the owners often file for bankruptcy in a federal court to re-organize the business and liquidate assets to pay off their creditors in the hope of getting a fresh start.
However, bankruptcy is governed by federal law in federal courts. Hence White’s reminder to turn down anyone bearing the signs of cannabis entrepreneurialism
Why? Because these appointed bankruptcy trustees can’t touch anything cannabis-related lest they violate the Controlled Substances Act, which maintains weed as a “dangerous” Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin, meth and other nasty drugs.
“Our goal is to ensure that trustees are not placed in the untenable position of violating federal law by liquidating, receiving proceeds from, or in any way administering marijuana assets,” White said.
Yeah right, Mr. White.
White’s letter drew criticism from the country’s largest group of consumer bankruptcy lawyers.
North Carolina lawyer Ed Boltz, who monitors federal policy for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, said the Justice Department division doesn’t have rule-making authority and can’t decide who should have access to bankruptcy protection.
“The courts and Congress are the appropriate groups to say who is eligible to file for bankruptcy,” Boltz said in an interview, reported International Foreign Exchange.
Between the DEA, Jeff Sessions, powerful pot-obstructing pharmaceutical companies, no banking access, getting screwed on their taxes and trying to exist in the unstable environment created by the new government, it’s a wonder more weed businesses aren’t going bankrupt.