Medical marijuana dispensaries currently under fire from the IRS may have been handed a critical new weapon in their fight to stay open. The National Cancer Institute, one of the many federal agencies who make up the National Institute of Health, has ruled that marijuana does in fact have medical benefits, making it the first federal agency to do so.
The NCI has issued a statement that in clinical trials, cancer patients successfully treated nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness, pain, and loss of appetite using marijuana. It stated that cannabis was being investigated as having not only a palliative effect on symptoms, but also a possible “direct antitumor effect”.
The IRS has been citing § 280E of the federal tax code as a means of disallowing years of business deductions for marijuana dispensaries, which, if allowed, would effectively put many of them out of business. § 280E states that no business deductions will be allowed for businesses “trafficking in controlled substances”.
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