God save us from The New York Times.
Last week, America’s newspaper of record published an interesting story that dug into the huge paperwork and regulatory burden that the Cannabis Industry faces in all the states where marijuana is legal.
Titled Marijuana May Be Legal, But Good Luck Filing the Paperwork, the story was good for giving people who aren’t in the industry a sense of the many hurdles that cannabis companies must navigate to do business that are over and above what regular businesses have to go through.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, from The Times’ story:
Without access to routine banking services, just paying employees becomes problematic for marijuana businesses, said Eddie Miller, chief strategy officer at GreenRush.com, an online delivery platform offering products from about 180 marijuana vendors. Handling the part of their salaries that employees are not paid is also difficult.
“You can’t do federal withholding” for income tax and Social Security contributions “because you can’t get a bank account,” he said. “Cannabis businesses have all the compliance that regular businesses have to follow, and they have to jump through even more hoops.”
Overall, The Times gives a good overview of the many compliance and paperwork issues the Cannabis Industry has to deal with, except, they missed one little issue.
Yep, The New York Times wrote a thousand word story on the many compliance issues that marijuana businesses have to deal with, and not once did they save anything about having to deal with everything in cash.
It’s not like this is a minor problem; in some ways, it is THE biggest single headache that the Cannabis Industry has to deal with when it comes to compliance hassles that flow from the Federal Government’s refusal to deal with legal marijuana.
Now to be fair, The New York Times did write a story focusing on the problems marijuana businesses have handling all that cash — way back in January 2014. But if anything, the cash issue has only gotten bigger and more difficult to navigate as legal marijuana grows in so many more states.
Yes, it’s great to see such an influential publication like The Times dig into the marijuana compliance problem that every Cannabis Industry leader has to deal with every single day. That’s all good, but if you’re talking compliance, you gotta talk about the cash problem — today’s growing cash problem — too.
If it was big enough to write about back in January 2014, it’s even a bigger issue to write about today.
So please America’s newspaper of record, if you’re going to get into compliance hurdles for marijuana businesses, take a little time to let mainstream America know about the biggest hurdle of them all.
It’s the least you can do if you really want to tell this story.