Bloomberg: Cannabis Industry’s 401(k) Dreams Dashed by Tax Code, Legal Fears

Helping employees save for the future is an unrealistic goal for cannabis companies hamstrung by tax law provisions and retirement industry fears that reach back to the federal government’s “war on drugs.”

Large 401(k) retirement plan providers are afraid to get involved with an industry engaging in activities still illegal under federal law, and a decades-old ban on most federal tax deductions can make providing plans expensive for the companies, tax and retirement professionals say.

“Cannabis companies want to provide a 401(k) benefit,” said Jewell Lim Esposito, a partner at FisherBroyles in Reston, Va., who specializes in cannabis, tax, compensation, and benefits. “Once the Fidelity-like company finds out the cannabis company is a cannabis company, they reject them.”

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