A proposed measure in the state Senate would allow adult-use cannabis firms in New York to deduct business expenses when they file their state taxes.

The measure is meant to reconcile federal tax regulations that bar cannabis businesses from making deductions or accounting for expenses related to running the business. 

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act once in full effect is expected generate billions of dollars in new tax revenue for New York in the coming years. 

“The MRTA was crafted with a focus on equity at all stages of implementation in the new recreational adult-use cannabis market. We must ensure that this focus includes licensing and taxation of these new businesses is top of mind while we create the foundations of this new sector of the economy," said Sen. Jeremy Cooney, the Democratic lawmaker sponsoring the bill. "I am proud to sponsor legislation that will create a more equitable taxation system to allow more small business owners and entrepreneurs to participate in the new cannabis market.”

Cooney's measure addresses one of the complications arising from the state legalizing marijuana-related businesses while the drug remains outlawed on the federal level. Cooney points to the measure making it easier for people to enter the cannabis sector as policymakers try to ensure smaller businesses will be able to operate within the new system. 

Business organizations on Friday backed the measure, calling it necessary for the market to thrive in New York. 

“If New York State hopes to be a leader in this emerging industry, we must acknowledge the reality: outrageous taxes will discourage entry and participation in the market, cause dollars to exit our State for more competitive opportunities, and lead to an exacerbated black market that poses real dangers for our communities," said Bob Duffy, a former lieutenant governor and the CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.