Cannabis to the Rescue?

As more states weigh the potential economic benefits of legalizing commercial cannabis sales, CPAs in New Jersey largely believe such a move would be a positive step forward for the Garden State, where a legalization measure goes to the voters in November.

In a survey of 924 CPAs by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA), 66% of respondents say having a commercial cannabis industry in New Jersey will help the state’s economy. Further, 68% of survey participants either strongly or somewhat agree that state lawmakers need to take steps to mitigate the impact of federal regulations on the industry, such as the inability to deduct business expenses.

The NJCPA has sponsored legislation that would “decouple” New Jersey from IRS section 280E, which forbids companies engaged in illegal drug activities from deducting businesses expenses and already impacts companies in the state that work in the medicinal market. The association argues that decoupling would eliminate this burden for state tax purposes and allow cannabis businesses to have access to the same tax benefits as all other New Jersey businesses.

“This is clearly a hot button for our members, who feel strongly about the importance of revenue growth in the state,” says NJCPA executive director and CEO Ralph Albert Thomas. “As trusted advisors, CPAs are well versed in a variety of industries, including cannabis, and stand ready to assist business owners.”

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