Pot is Legal in California, but Dispensaries Still Face Problems

It's a $7 billion industry, but there's no place to put the money.

Sonia Luna, founder of Aviva Spectrum, says that despite cannabis being illegal under federal law, dispensaries in the U.S. still have to file federal taxes. She joins us in the FOX40 studio this morning at 6 a.m.

Aviva Spectrum is a consulting firm that specializes in the cannabis industry.

Luna says the U.S. tax code bans deductions besides the cost of goods sold. She warns that cannabis businesses face a possible audit if they try to deduct other expenses.

Another issue cannabis businesses face is dealing with banks.

"The state of California estimated $1 billion of tax revenues. We don't want to create a shadow economy, we don't want violence in local communities," California State Treasurer John Chiang told FOX40 in January.

Chiang is exploring the idea of building a state bank -- one that doesn't fall under the control of the federal government and its marijuana prohibition.

Luna says many U.S. banks and credit unions could face criminal charges (theoretically) if they do business with cannabis companies.