COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s health department wants to ban medical marijuana businesses from paying taxes in cash, a move that industry advocates say could shut out small businesses from the field.
Missouri voters in 2018 made medical marijuana legal but sales are still prohibited under federal law.
Financial institutions, particularly national banks, shy away from working with the cannabis industry because of the federal ban, BeLeaf CEO Mitch Meyers said. That forces some marijuana businesses to pay bills and salaries in cash.
Meyers said Missouri’s proposed cash-only policy will also make it difficult or impossible for some businesses to pay state taxes.
“I don’t know how you can tell people to abide by the law, but then say cash is no good,” Meyers said.
The Department of Health and Senior Services did not immediately respond to a Friday Associated Press request for comment on the proposed policy, which also bans cash payments for fines and fees.
There are Missouri banks that will work with cannabis businesses, Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association spokesman Jack Cardetti said.
“But those options are not plentiful,” he said.
Cardetti said the same issues with reluctant banks apply to getting cashier’s checks.
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