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Wyden Bill Seeks to Legalize, Regulate and Tax Cannabis

May 08, 2019


The cannabis industry has become huge in Oregon, as well as the other states that have legalized its recreational use. Those states have seen increased tax revenues and job creation result from it.


However, continued inconsistency with federal laws creates challenges for the many producers, distributors and others whose livelihoods are directly affected by any regulatory actions that the government may take involving cannabis.


One of the biggest challenges has been how to integrate the cannabis industry into the world of legitimate finance. The federal government still considers cannabis to be an illegal substance, which prevents banks from being able to do business with industry practitioners.


Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to address those issues. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is sponsoring S.420, otherwise known as the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act.


Wyden introduced the bill on February 7. As of February 15, it has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.


S.420 would amend the federal tax code to provide for the taxation and regulation of cannabis products. It would accomplish this by adding a new chapter.


The proposed legislation establishes an applicable tax rate per ounce and fractional parts of cannabis. Derivatives are also covered under the bill, with an applicable tax rate per gram of THC. It also addresses at which points the producer or importer should be liable for the taxes imposed.


Wyden isn’t alone in his efforts to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis at the federal level. A bill identical to S.420, H.R. 1120, has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3). It was referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry February 14.


Blumenauer has also introduced H.R. 420, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. That bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry February 8.


Based in Beaverton,  American Benefits Insurance has two cannabis business insurance experts on its highly trained staff of professionals. The company offers cannabis business insurance that covers general and auto liability, professional and malpractice liability for physicians and testing labs, insurance for building, business personal property, tools and equipment, workers compensation and coverage to protect crops from physical damage and theft.

There are many aspects involved in the marijuana industry, including growing, cultivating, processing, harvesting, manufacturing, testing, the operation of dispensary storefronts and the physical buildings in which facilities are located. ABI is able to insure the entire supply chain, from seed to store and everywhere in between, with policies that meet state guidelines for both medical and recreational marijuana operations. The company’s featured carriers include The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Safeco, Progressive and many others.

For more information, you can call ABI at 503-292-1580. You can get a free, no-obligation quote via telephone or online at

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