According to an August survey by New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, 2 in 3 certified public accountants expect commercial cannabis to help New Jersey’s economy.
NJCPA surveyed 924 CPAs for the report, released Wednesday.
The majority of those surveyed – 68 percent – also either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that state lawmakers need to take steps to mitigate the impact of federal regulations on the industry, including the inability to deduct business expenses.
The NJCPA has sponsored legislation that would decouple New Jersey from Internal Revenue Code Section 280E, the rule forbidding companies engaged in the cannabis business and all other illegal drug activities from deducting business expenses.
Medical cannabis businesses are already adversely affected by 280E. Decoupling would eliminate this burden for state tax purposes and allow the state’s cannabis businesses to have access to the same tax benefits as businesses in other sectors.
“This is clearly a hot button for our members, who feel strongly about the importance of revenue growth in the state. As trusted advisors, CPAs are well versed in a variety of industries, including cannabis, and stand ready to assist business owners,” said NJCPA Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Ralph Albert Thomas in a prepared statement.
Adult use cannabis, which would be subject to state sales tax, is on the ballot for November’s general election, perhaps allowing Gov. Phil Murphy to make good on his promise of legalization.
“A commercial cannabis industry is replete with many challenges for business owners, but thankfully CPAs are at the forefront of helping businesses navigate federal tax and banking regulations,” said Melissa Dardan, who leads the NJCPA Cannabis Interest Group.