Pot Club Pays Weekly Taxes To Avoid Fed Raids: Report

Weekly state tax payments may curb the DEA's regular shake-downs.

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Sep 10, 2010  |  Updated 12:30 PM PDT
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Cannabis Cup Cake Anyone?

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BERKELEY, CA - MARCH 25: Marijuana clones are displayed at the Berkeley Patients Group March 25, 2010 in Berkeley, California. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a ballot initiative late yesterday to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in the State of California after proponents of the measure submitted over 690,000 signatures. The measure will appear on the November 2 general election ballot. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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There's nothing like the threat of constant federal raids to nudge you into paying your taxes on time. Very on-time, in fact. Medical marijuana dispensary Berkeley Patients Group has taken to paying its state sales taxes every single week, the East Bay Express reports.

It's actually a pretty clever way to protect themselves. Anyone who's worked in retail knows that most stores make a nightly deposit at the bank, so that they don't have too much cash on-hand if thieves break in. Berkeley Patients Group learned that lesson the hard way, when a gang of robbers called The Drug Enforcement Agency conducted a raid back in 2007. The fed seized $100,000 of the dispensary's cash and wouldn't return it until the town of Berkeley intervened.

So now, the dispensary doles out a weekly check to the state once a week, just to be safe.

These are apparently boom times for doctors in the pot industry, with that dispensary alone raking in $18.5 million a year.

But these are still dangerous times for growers. The federal government continues to bust growers, with a quarter-million bust in the East Bay this week and a $100 million bust near San Diego.

Meanwhile, San Francisco can't stop wringing its hands over a minuscule tax to fund treatment for alcohol -- you know, a substance that actually causes immediate physical harm.

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