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Ex-IRS agent faces trial on medical marijuana dispensary bribery charge

Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 8th 2016 by THCFinder

SEATTLE (AP) — A former IRS agent in Seattle is set to face trial this week on accusations that he solicited a $20,000 bribe from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Federal prosecutors say that after Paul G. Hurley audited Have A Heart Compassion Care in Seattle last summer, he told its owner that he had saved him $1 million — and suggested that in return the owner, Ryan Kunkel, should pay off his student debt.

Prosecutors say Kunkel agreed to pay Hurley $20,000 instead, but then he reported Hurley's actions to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Court documents say FBI agents observed and recorded two meetings at a Starbucks where Kunkel handed over the cash.

Read More:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/02/07/irs-agent-marijuana-bribery/79988840/


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NCIA Releases 280E Guide To Help Marijuana Businesses During Tax Season

Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 8th 2016 by THCFinder
marijuana taxes tax

(via dailyfinance.com)

I get asked all the time for advice and tips on how to start a marijuana business. Most of the time people want to bounce ideas off of me that involve growing and/or selling marijuana. Sometimes it will involve an ancillary industry idea, but for the most part the people that I talk to want to pursue a business idea that involves ‘touching the plant’ as a lot of people in the industry say these days. I offer up my two cents on what it would take to start a garden and/or a dispensary as best I can, and always tell people to take it for what they will considering I don’t operate either type of business.

Something that I’m always quick to point out is the need for cannabis entrepreneurs to know about 280E and how it affects marijuana businesses during tax season. People dedicate a ton of time designing their garden, dialing in their ‘grow recipe’ to maximize their yields, but don’t dedicate nearly as much time researching 280E. It’s understandable – tax code is not a sexy thing. To most people, it’s about the least desirable part of being in the industry. However, it’s extremely important, which I’m sure a lot of people are learning for the first time as they prepare their taxes for their business.

Taxes can be confusing, especially when it comes to 280E. I am by no means a tax expert, but there are fortunately others out there that are. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) recently released a 280E white paper document that provides a ton of information about 280E. It answers frequently asked questions, such as basic ones like ‘What Is Section 280E?’ Below is an excerpt from the document describing what 280E is for those that aren’t already in the know:

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/ncia-280e-marijuana-businesses-tax-season/


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Legal Marijuana in Oregon Comes With a Surprising Twist

Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 8th 2016 by THCFinder

Pardon the pun, but you could say expectations are high around the country that this could be the biggest year ever for marijuana legalization.

Consumers and legislators are seeing green
To recap, the past two decades haven't been too shabby for marijuana supporters. Some 23 states, as well as Washington, D.C., now allow for physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for specific ailments, and four states -- Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska -- plus D.C. now allow for the sale of recreational marijuana to adults ages 21 and up. Even a decade ago the thought of marijuana being legal anywhere would have been somewhat far-fetched, but it's a reality now in four states, and perhaps more by the end of the year.

Read More:http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/02/07/legal-marijuana-in-oregon-comes-with-a-surprising.aspx


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NYC Marijuana Possession Arrests Under 17K For First Time Since 1996

Category: News | Posted on Sat, February, 6th 2016 by THCFinder

new york policy department nypd marijuanaAccording to data just released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, New York City marijuana arrests in 2015 dropped to under 17,000 for the first time since 1996. The 16,590 arrests for low-level marijuana possession in 2015 is a 42% decline from the 26,386 in 2014 and a 67% drop from the nearly 51,000 arrests in 2011.

“New York is finally starting to shed its embarrassing distinction of being the marijuana arrest capital of the world,” said Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Over the last twenty years, more than 700,000 lives were irrevocably harmed by our draconian marijuana arrest policies. We must repair the harms of marijuana prohibition and end the biased policing practices that have ruined the lives of so many young Black and Latino New Yorkers.”

In 2015, with the continuous advocacy of community members, advocates, and elected officials – the New York Police Department made 16,590 arrests for low level marijuana possession, down from a high of 26,386 in 2014. This continues a four year trend of declining marijuana possession arrest by the NYPD. Marijuana possession arrest numbers in New York City are the lowest they’ve been since 1996.  Though low level marijuana possession arrests have declined, the arrests remained racially disparate, with 88% of people arrested being Black and Latino, despite consistent government data that show young white men use at higher rates.

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/nyc-marijuana-possession-arrests-under-17k-for-first-time-since-1996/


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Plan Colombia to Become 'Peace Colombia'?

Category: News | Posted on Sat, February, 6th 2016 by THCFinder

Amid signs of hope that the South American country's 50-year armed conflict is winding down, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos met with Barack Obama at the White House this week to mark 15 years since the initiation of the Plan Colombia aid package.

The two congratulated each other on the success of the program, which has delivered some $10 billion to Colombia in mostly military aid since 2001. They also discussed a proposed new aid program that Santos is calling the "second phase" of Plan Colombia and which Obama proposed to be called "Peace Colombia."

Obama said he supports a package of $450 million annually to support the peace process in Colombia—an increase over last year's $300 million. This would go towards implementing the reforms to be instated following a peace deal with the FARC guerillas—with a continued focus on drug enforcement. Obama said the U.S. "will keep working to protect our people as well as the Colombian people from the ravages of illegal drugs and the violence of drug traffickers."

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/plan-colombia-become-peace-colombia


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Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion in 2015, Report Says

Category: News | Posted on Fri, February, 5th 2016 by THCFinder

It’s not just heat lamps in closets and nickel bags anymore: Marijuana is getting some respect as legal sales take off.

This week two marijuana analysis and investment firms released a summary of a report that appeared to confirm that the industry hasbecome gold rush. National legal sales of cannabis grew to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to the firms, the ArcView Group, based in San Francisco, and New Frontier, based in Washington.

Demand is expected to remain strong this year, with a forecast of $6.7 billion in legal sales, the report said.


The promises and headwinds of the industry are potentially far-reaching and attracting notice on Wall Street. As more states legalize marijuana sales, analysts are weighing the stock market benefits of new businesses ascannabis goes corporate. Funds are considering the ethics of investing in marijuana. Parents are even debating whether to allow their children to buy the stocks.

Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/business/legal-marijuana-sales-2015-report.html?_r=0


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