The Bay Area's budding medical pot industry is facing a big tax bill. The IRS has ruled Oakland's largest dispensary can not deduct business expenses.
In a letter last week, the IRS told Harborside Health Center that it can not deduct standard expenses like rent, payroll and health insurance ... because it traffics drugs.
Harborside's executive director Steve DeAngelo said the dispensary now owes the federal government $2.5 million in back taxes and penalties.
“This is not an effort on the part of the IRS to tax us,” DeAngelo said. “This is an effort on the part of the IRS to tax us out of existence”
DeAngelo said he's received a flood of calls from concerned dispensary owners and medical cannabis patients.