Cannabis investors could get a tax break in Opportunity Zones

Detail of cannabis leaf over american dollar bill – medical marijuana stock market conceptMore

Investors could get a tax break if they put money into companies with cannabis dispensaries in distressed economic areas, according to some legal experts, following the final release of Opportunity Zone regulations on December 19.

The Opportunity Zone program, created in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allows investors to defer or waive capital gains tax on investments in distressed economic areas. The program was designed to draw investment dollars to low-income communities in the U.S. And so far, there still isn’t any language excluding cannabis investments from the program.  

“The idea that it [that cannabis investors might not be eligible for the program] is a point of controversy is just not true… It’s very uncontroversial as far as we’re concerned,” said James Mann, partner at Greenspoon Marder LLP tax practice. Mann has six clients with funds dedicated to investing in cannabis companies located in Opportunity Zones in California, Nevada, Georgia and Massachusetts. 

Regulations explicitly banned a list of “sin” businesses, like liquor stores, massage parlors and gambling halls, since the program began in 2017. Cannabis was missing from the list, but the absence of finalized regulations

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