Federal marijuana classication forces tax collectors to accept large sums of cash

Capelli D'Angelo

Many dollar banknotes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many dollar banknotes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cash day at the Sacramento branch of the California tax agency raises safety concerns after collectors accept sums as large as $400,000 in a single day. According to the Guardian, employees are forced out of their safe rooms to accept cash that will not fit through the envelope acceptance slots. 

This is a problem for tax collection centers all over the country now that some state law permits the use of medical or recreational marijuana. Federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Meaning it is highly addictive and there is no use for it.

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This restricts banks from allowing dispensaries, production facilities and other marijuana related businesses from opening accounts, forcing them to operate on a cash only basis.

“We’ve been a cash industry forever and it has been quite a problem,” said Kimberly, a dispensary director in Sacramento who asked that her last name not be used for safety reasons. “We don’t want to drive around town paying our bills in cash. We want to be able to just go to the bank.”

Not only is it inconvenient for customers and business owners, but it is a safety hazard too. These facilities are not designed to safeguard large amounts of cash. Sometimes the safe in the Sacramento brach is packed to capacity. This operation might become harder to manage if recreational marijuana is legalized in California this year.

Upon collection, the money is washed to manage the strong cannabis odor that sticks to the paper. In  most cases, the money has been stored with inventory for a long time. To read more about the Sacramento tax agency, see the full article.