History of 280E
Section 280E prohibits cannabis companies from deducting what would normally be deductible business expenses. In 1982 it was the height of drug hysteria and increased drug-related incarceration rates. 280E was created in reaction to a court case (Edmondson, T.C. Memo. 1981-623) in which a convicted cocaine trafficker asserted his right under federal tax law to deduct ordinary business expenses (such as rent, advertising and employee salaries). Congress created 280E to prevent other drug dealers from following suit. Jumping back to today legitimate, state-legal businesses are building compliant operations to provide access to medical marijuana and adult-use cannabis, yet still must face the burden of paying taxes for normal business expenses.
What does this mean for Cannabusinesses?
Yes, you can work to add as much into your COGS as possible, but we need to be realistic here. In order to have real business growth in cannabis, the solution is to look beyond your financial statements.
Solution 1: Categorize expenses into COGS as much as practical! Link to PDF COGS below.
Solution 2: Look beyond your financial statements for growth! This is where Full Cycle CFO can come in.
Business growth regarding 280E comes down to two main categories. First: staying compliant and second: business strategy. To stay compliant with this tax code there are substantiation requirements and building procedures to track. This is accomplished with effective bookkeeping and software.
280E makes it particularly challenging to manage the finances of a cannabis business. Profitability is not easily found within the financial statements so it is critical to look beyond them and find new opportunities for efficiencies. This happens outside of your bookkeeping and the second solution: business strategy.
For effective business strategy we will work with you to provide: