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Florida Files Bill to Remove 280E Tax Burdens as DeSantis’ Ties to Medical Cannabis Industry Brought Into Question

A Florida State Senator has filed a proposal which would relieve the 280E tax burden on medical cannabis businesses.

The news comes as CNN reports that Florida’s Governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis was ‘courted by key figures in the medical cannabis industry’.

Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez has proposed an amendment to Florida’s tax code which would allow cannabis operators to claim tax deductions, a practice currently banned federally by the controversial 280E IRS code.

In an effort to increase the profitability of the state’s cannabis businesses, it would enable tax deductions of ‘an amount equal to an expenditure that is eligible to be claimed as a federal income tax deduction but is disallowed because marijuana is a controlled substance under federal law’.

The proposals would only include medical cannabis businesses in Florida, in a move highlighting the state’s acceptance of the industry and its potential economic impact.

However, the motives behind this acceptance have been brought into question by a new report from CNN highlighting the numerous donations from cannabis firms to the Florida GOP.

According to its report, Trulieve donated $50,000 to the group, which helped pay for DeSantis’ campaign ads.

The company subsequently posted record profits after DeSantis signed his first bill into law in 2018, legalising smokeable medical cannabis in the state, citing the introduction of smokeable flower in Florida, accounting for 50% of its sales in the state.

Further allegations suggest that DeSantis changed his stance on cannabis, having previously voted against liberalisation efforts, in a bid to secure endorsement from political heavyweights.

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