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Post: How will a federal reclassification of marijuana affect Colorado’s struggling industry?

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How will a federal reclassification of marijuana affect Colorado’s struggling industry?
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KRDO COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could move to reclassify Marijuana as a much less dangerous drug, according to what sources are telling the Associated Press . The changes still face a few steps before they go into effect, but according to local experts, the reclassification is "likely" to happen.

Currently, Marijuana is scheduled as a Schedule I drug, alongside substances like heroin and LSD, according to the DEA . For medical marijuana business owners in Colorado Springs, the current DEA classification scheduling translates as a heavy tax burden.

"The first change would be from a tax perspective," dispensary owner Tom Scudder said. "As this industry has developed in the legal sphere, [we] have been paying taxes at an obscene level."

Scudder, a dispensary owner and vice-chair of the Marijuana Industry Group, says that’s because of an IRS tax code called 280E , which prohibits businesses from benefitting from tax deductions or credits if the business deals with Schedule I or II controlled substances, which marijuana currently fits under.

For Scudder, the re-scheduling would change the financial landscape for his business in an industry that’s seen a massive decline statewide over the past couple of years.

"Most of the businesses here in the last few years in Colorado have not made any money, and a lot of them have lost a lot of money. And so this will reverse that to some extent," Scudder said.

Scudder says he also deals with intense scrutiny and regulation from state authorities for day-to-day […]

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