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Denver Cannabis Tax Attorney Jennifer Benda in The Center Square 

April 2, 2021

The Center Square

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As New York anticipates windfall from marijuana legalization, still many details to be worked out

New York’s first year recreational marijuana sales are estimated to be at $1.18 billion in its first full year of operations, according to data analytics firm Headset.

The bill signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week allows retail sales and personal cultivation for individuals 21 and older. The state is taxing marijuana at the wholesale and retail levels, with 9 percent of the 13 percent retail tax allocated to the state and the rest staying in the local community.

But businesses may face some regulatory tax hurdles when setting up shop, according to a tax attorney. New York law limits vertical integration for new businesses, which limits deductions on taxable income, according to Jennifer Benda, a partner/shareholder at the national law firm Hall Estill. It’s an issue the federal courts have yet to address, Benda said.