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On January 4, 2018, the Trump Administration through Attorney General Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy1 that discouraged federal prosecutors from bringing charges in all but the most serious marijuana cases under the federal Controlled Substances Act,2 as well as under the Bank Secrecy Act.3 Federal law is at odds with state law in the majority of states on the legalization and subsequent state taxation of marijuana.4 Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have at least partially legalized marijuana. Eight of these states have legalized both medicinal and recreational use.5 With limited exceptions, legalized sales of marijuana are taxed.

We will consider this federal-state tax (and criminal enforcement) topic in a series of five papers. The first is introductory in nature. We examine the State tax and enforcement issues surrounding the legalized marijuana trade. Each of the other papers in this series will consider a specific marijuana fraud vector and present solutions to it.

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