Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed marijuana operations in the state to deduct business expenses from their state taxes, effectively allowing them greater movement to to advertise, promote, and commercialize their products. Smart Approaches to Marijuana founder and president, Dr. Kevin Sabet, released the following statement:
“Governor Brown did the right thing vetoing AB 1863, which would have granted legitimacy to these federally illegal operations. What is disturbing about the bill is that it would allow these operations to deduct advertising costs just like any legitimate business.
“Because marijuana operations are pushing a federally controlled substance they are not able to deduct these expenses. Had the bill been signed, Big Marijuana would have been able to advertise and operate with even more freedom than they have at present.
“The industry and its addiction-for-profit business model is already doing its best to bring in as many new users as possible. Brightly packaged, harmless-looking candies, gummies, and sodas loaded with THC are already in pot-shops across the state. They are attractive to the eye and entice the young. They are already employing billboards, radio commercials, and social media ads and continually bombarding young minds with the message that pot is safe.
“We already know young minds are sensitive to advertising. Studies have shown ads for medical marijuana increase the chances of use by the young compared with those who aren’t exposed.
“We applaud Governor Brown for protecting California’s youth by vetoing this reckless and outrageous bill.”