As if it wasn’t hard enough for legally operating marijuana businesses to pay bills and taxes, now the U.S. Postal Service is getting in the way. Rainforest Farms, a recreational marijuana dispensary in Juneau, Alaska, had its tax payment returned because the USPS refused to mail it.
Postal inspector Aaron Behnen said, “Any proceeds from the selling of (marijuana) is considered drug proceeds under federal law, so you can’t mail that,” Idaho Statesman reports.
In Alaska, driving to an IRS payment office isn’t always an option due to distance and weather. Alaska’s tax director, Ken Alper, implied that the state needs to figure out a better way for these legitimate businesses to pay their taxes. Alper said, “this throws a tremendous wrinkle into our process.”
James Barrett of Rainforest Farms said, “It’s difficult. People like cash, but it does take a lot to move it, especially when you have to account for it properly.”
Much of the marijuana industry is unable to work with banks since marijuana is still federally illegal and banks see working with these businesses as accepting drug money, regardless of marijuana’s legality in a specific state.
Representative Don Young created the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, with the help of other lawmakers. This caucus is working on a resolution that will protect banks and credit unions that wish to provide services to marijuana businesses.