Tuesday, September 5, 2017
As the growing trend for state legalization of marijuana continues, Native American Tribes want to begin growing and selling marijuana of their own. Because the marijuana market is earning billions, Native Americans hope selling marijuana will end the poverty currently plaguing their reservations. From the VOA News, Cecily Hillary reports:
“Let’s just look at one small piece of what hemp can do,” said Leslie Bocskor, founder of Electrum Partners, which works with states and tribes looking to enter the cannabis industry. Hemp, Bocskor said, can be used to manufacture plastics that are more environmentally friendly than plastics made from oil and gas, which aren't biodegradable.
“When you put hemp plastic into landfill, it will break down into things that are not damaging, at worst, and, at best, it can be additive to the soil it’s put into,” he said. “It also causes far less pollution to produce hemp plastics.”
Tribes stand to realize even greater profits than states due to their tax advantage.
Native American tribes have an advantage over other companies in the cannabis business. Many businesses in the United States lower their taxes by deducting their business expenses from their profits. But companies that grow and sell cannabis are not permitted to deduct their business expenses. This means they pay a higher tax rate than do other companies.
However, Native American tribes and the companies they own do not pay federal income taxes on money earned on reservations.
Bocskor says this means that a tribe-owned cannabis company could earn a profit margin of up to 85 percent.