A Seattle Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent has been charged with soliciting a bribe and accepting payment from a local medical cannabis dispensary owner, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorneys Office.
Paul Hurley, 42, was charged Monday in U.S. District Court after he allegedly asked for $20,000 cash from a dispensary owner in exchange for giving lenience in a tax audit. Hurley was the first to make contact with the dispensary owner, who didn’t seek leniency themselves.
Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced plans to introduce bicameral legislation next week that would reconcile state cannabis laws and federal tax law. The Small Business Tax Equity Act, which was introduced last Congress by Congressman Blumenauer, would create an exception to Internal Revenue Code Section 280E to allow cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law to take deductions associated with the sale of marijuana like any other legal business.
“More than two-thirds of Americans now live in jurisdictions that have legalized either the medical or adult use of marijuana. It’s time for the federal government to catch up,” said Congressman Blumenauer in a Thursday press release. “Section 280E creates an unequal and unrealistic tax burden on these businesses. I’m excited to work with Senator Wyden in introducing the Small Business Tax Equity Act, which would bring much needed fairness and level the playing field for small businesses that follow state laws and create jobs.”