Federal Judge Dismisses Washington Marijuana Tax Lawsuit


A medical marijuana dispensary owner in Washington was suing the State of Washington over a tax dispute. The Washington Revenue Department was going after the dispensary owner for not collecting taxes on his marijuana sales. The man then sued the State of Washington in federal court arguing that he couldn't collect taxes because it would incriminate him, leading to potential criminal charges.

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Per King 5, the federal judged dismissed the case:

The operator of a medical marijuana dispensary in Bellingham, Martin Nickerson, sued because he was being simultaneously prosecuted for marijuana distribution and targeted by the state Revenue Department for not collecting taxes on marijuana sales. He argued he couldn't pay the tax without incriminating himself.

But the judge agreed with the state's lawyers, who argued that federal law required the case to be brought in state court.

The medical marijuana industry in Washington had chances to create a regulated system but decided to keep operating in gray areas, rather than create a patient registry. I support the medical marijuana industry in Washington, however, I wish everything was above board and done in a regulated fashion. When laws, rules, and regulations are hazy, law enforcement takes advantage of the situation, especially federal law enforcement. This leads to issues with safe access for many patients.