top of page

Ode to the Green Revolution: Celebrating the Growth and Impact of Legal Cannabis

Cannabis: the new American pastime
American as Apple...and Cannabis? How the Legalization Movement is Redefining our Nation's Values.

History has a funny way of repeating itself, and it seems that the issue of taxes and representation has once again become a hot topic in the United States. In the early days of the American colonies, the British government imposed taxes on the colonists that eventually led to the American Revolution. Today, legal cannabis businesses in the US are burdened with high taxes and a lack of representation, which is hindering their growth and success. With tax rates as high as 37% in some states and a lack of access to federal benefits, it's time for the federal government to recognize and legalize the cannabis industry, providing support and protections to those in the industry and allowing them to contribute fully to the economy.


In the early years of the American colonies, the British government imposed a series of taxes on the colonists that eventually led to the American Revolution. One of the most famous of these taxes was the tax on tea, which was seen by many as a symbol of British tyranny and oppression. Today, a similar issue is playing out in the US, as legal cannabis businesses are burdened with high taxes and a lack of representation.

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence." - John Adams, 1787

In many states where cannabis is legal, including Washington State, there is a tax on cannabis that can be as high as 37%. This tax is meant to generate revenue for the state, but it is also seen by many as a way to discourage cannabis use and to make it harder for cannabis businesses to succeed.

Cannabis businesses in the US are subject to a much higher tax rate compared to other businesses. They are also required to pay federal taxes, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and deal with IRS interference, just like any other business. However, unlike other businesses, they are not allowed the same benefits due to their illegal status at the federal level. For example, they are not able to deduct their business expenses on their federal tax returns, which significantly increases their tax burden. These businesses are not eligible for many tax incentives and programs that other businesses can take advantage of.

This is an unjust treatment towards legal cannabis businesses, as they are being taxed and contributing to programs they are not allowed to benefit from. The current system of taxation without representation hinders both the growth and success of the legal cannabis industry, which in turn affects the economy and job creation.

Colorado Cannabis Industry - Control Union Medical Cannabis Standard CUMCS
The Green Revolution - Ode to American Spirit


Legal cannabis businesses in the US face high federal taxes and are not eligible for many tax incentives and deductions, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to other businesses. This can make legal cannabis more expensive, discourage entrepreneurship, and encourage the black market. We should reconsider the taxation of legal cannabis businesses and create a fair and equitable tax system that supports this industry while protecting consumers and promoting entrepreneurship.

This situation is reminiscent of the taxes on tea imposed by the British government in colonial America. Like the tax on tea, the tax on cannabis is seen as unjust by those being taxed, who feel that they are being unfairly targeted and burdened with an unreasonable financial burden. Just as the colonists had little or no representation in the British government, legal cannabis businesses in the US are not protected under federal law and have no representation under federal banking laws to protect them.

During the time of the Boston Tea Party, the colonists in New England felt like second-class citizens, with little or no representation in the British government. They had no say in the laws and taxes imposed upon them, and they felt like their rights and freedoms were being ignored. Today, legal cannabis businesses face a similar lack of representation, but instead of it being about personal representation, it's about representation for their bank accounts.

"Many of our rights are inherent and essential, agreed on as maxims and established as preliminaries even before a Parliament existed. We have a right to them…” – John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson on August 24, 1815

Under federal law, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means that cannabis businesses are not protected under federal law and cannot take advantage of many of the legal and financial protections afforded to other types of businesses. This includes access to traditional banking services, which are often necessary for businesses to operate and grow. Without access to these services, cannabis businesses are forced to operate almost entirely in cash, which makes them vulnerable to theft and other crimes.


An excise tax is a type of tax that is added to specific goods, such as tobacco and alcohol. In the case of cannabis, it is taxed at both the state and federal levels. These taxes can add up quickly, making the cost of legal cannabis significantly higher than that of illegal cannabis.

While excise taxes can be a source of revenue for the government, they can also have negative consequences. For example, high excise taxes on cannabis can lead to an increase in illegal sales, which can be dangerous for consumers and cause the government to miss out on potential tax revenue. Additionally, the high taxes can make it difficult for legal cannabis businesses to compete with the black market, which can hurt job creation and economic growth.

Excise taxes are important for the recreational cannabis market, but we need to be mindful of their impact on legal cannabis businesses and consumers. Medical cannabis patients shouldn't be subject to excise taxes, but tourists who come to smoke and ski in Colorado should be. We need to create a fair tax system for legal cannabis that supports the industry's growth and protects consumers while promoting entrepreneurship. It's crucial for the US to keep up with other countries like Colombia and Canada, who are already benefiting from the potential exports of this plant.

This lack of access to banking services has created a situation where legal cannabis businesses are unable to fully participate in the economy and are effectively relegated to second-class citizenry. They are forced to operate in the shadows, without the protections and support that other businesses enjoy. This is a stark contrast to the situation in which other businesses operate, and it highlights the need for better representation for the cannabis industry at the federal level of government.

"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." - Thomas Jefferson's Letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

Just as the colonists in colonial America felt like they were being unfairly targeted and oppressed by the British government, legal cannabis businesses in the US today feel like they are being unfairly targeted and oppressed by federal laws and regulations. They are being denied the same opportunities and protections that other businesses enjoy, and they are being forced to operate in an unfair and unlevel playing field.

By highlighting the striking similarities between the colonists' lack of representation in colonial America and the current lack of representation for legal cannabis businesses, we can raise awareness of this significant issue and advocate for change. Whether through proactive lobbying efforts aimed at improving legal cannabis businesses' representation or by advocating for changes to federal banking laws, concerted action is required to create a more equitable and just system for all stakeholders involved.

This lack of protection leaves legal cannabis businesses burdened with a significant tax obligation. Without access to traditional banking services, these businesses operate almost entirely in cash, making them vulnerable to theft and other criminal activities. Additionally, this circumstance complicates their ability to pay taxes and adhere to other regulatory requirements.

Legal cannabis businesses in the US are facing a challenging and intricate situation, with many complexities involved in maintaining an ambiguous legal status. Unfortunately, this situation has only improved the positions of attorneys who create law firms that "represent" these businesses, providing services to "interpret" the gray areas. This ultimately benefits them, as when a business is on the brink of collapse under the pressure of the legal entity, they are offered a lifeboat in the form of "partnership," allowing the authors of ambiguity to establish themselves on the backs of the legacies that create this industry, all while maintaining advocacy.

The reality is that without federal legislation to protect them, the industry will continue to operate without proper regulations or safeguards. The government is cherry-picking which legal cannabis businesses can participate, benefiting from taxation without taking responsibility for their protection. This is reminiscent of the colonial era taxes on tea, where the government enjoyed taxation benefits but did not protect the people.

How can the government justify imposing exorbitant taxes on legal cannabis businesses that are considered legal at the state level, while simultaneously denying them the same level of representation in the highest levels of our democracy? We call for the legalization of cannabis to provide relief to those in need, but we fail to offer the same protections and impunities to cannabis farmers against crop failures or unethical practices that are standard in traditional commodities. The legal cannabis industry deserves full representation in federal banking systems and legislation, just as any other legal industry does. It's time for us, as a society, to recognize the potential benefits of cannabis and give this industry the support it needs to thrive. We cannot continue to ignore the overwhelming support of the American people for cannabis legalization and allow the stigma perpetuated by the likes of Henry Anslinger to dictate our policies. We must acknowledge that cannabis is a part of our culture and accept it as such.

Let us remember John Hancock's refusal to allow the King's tea off his ships, as he was much more than just a signature on the Declaration of Independence; he was the very essence of civil disobedience. In the same way, we should raise awareness and advocate for change to create a more equitable and just system for all. We can achieve this by lobbying for better representation for legal cannabis businesses, pushing for changes to federal banking laws, and reducing the tax burden on legal cannabis.

Working together, we can ensure that the government benefits from taxation while providing protection and support to the legal cannabis industry. It is time to take action and make sure that the industry can thrive without being hindered by ambiguity and lack of protection.

As the legal cannabis industry continues to grow across the United States, it's becoming increasingly clear that federal legalization is necessary for this industry to truly flourish. One area where this is particularly evident is in property tax and personal tax.

Modern cannabis firms face a patchwork of regulations and tax laws, which can make it difficult for them to operate and expand. For example, they may face higher property tax rates or be unable to take advantage of certain deductions and incentives that are available to other businesses.

Because of the illegal status of cannabis at the federal level, individuals who work in the industry are not able to deduct expenses related to their work on their personal tax returns. This means that they are effectively taxed at a higher rate than other workers, which can make it difficult for them to make ends meet and provide for their families.

By federally legalizing cannabis, we can create a more level playing field for legal cannabis businesses and workers across the country. This would allow them to grow and expand their businesses, create jobs, and contribute to their local economies.

By providing a fair and equitable tax system, we can ensure that legal cannabis businesses and workers are not unfairly burdened with taxes and can keep more of their hard-earned profits. This would allow them to reinvest in their businesses, hire more workers, and create even more economic growth and prosperity.

It's high time for federal legalization of cannabis if we want to create a fair and level playing field for all businesses and workers in the industry. Our leaders in the government must recognize the enormous potential of this plant and embrace the true spirit of entrepreneurship that it represents. Cannabis businesses should have the opportunity to succeed or fail based on their own merit, without being burdened by unfair taxes and regulations. This is a chance to realize the purest form of the American dream - a small piece of land, a farmer and their plow, and the ability to create something from nothing. Let's not forget that America's foundation is built on agriculture, and cannabis is no different - it's an agricultural commodity that deserves the chance to thrive. So let's push for federal legalization and give cannabis businesses across the country the opportunity to grow and prosper.

Join the Green Revolution and celebrate the true American spirit of innovation, perseverance, and freedom. Let's honor the legacy of our founding fathers and fight against unjust laws and regulations that hinder the growth and progress of the legal cannabis industry. Together, we can create a more equitable and just system for all.

11 views0 comments
bottom of page