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Can medical marijuana patients write off a marijuana prescription as a medical expense?

Updated: Jun 16

Can medical marijuana patients write off a marijuana prescription as a medical expense?


There has never been a Treasury rule or regulation adopted through the Administrative Procedures Act that would disallow this type of deduction. So, the deduction could arguably be allowed.


However, unfortunately, on a surface level, the answer is no. The IRS views marijuana, including medical, as a Schedule I Controlled Substance under federal law. That means the IRS still views marijuana as illegal. The IRS allows no federal tax deduction for illegal substances, even if they are legal under state law.


IRS Publication 502 contains a full list of medical and dental expenses that are deductible. On pg. 15, the publication states, “You can't include in medical expenses amounts you pay for controlled substances (such as marijuana, laetrile, etc.) that aren't legal under federal law, even if such substances are legalized by state law.”


If marijuana becomes legal under federal law, then there is a high likelihood that those expenses will become deductible. Until then, the federal government continues to deny any federal tax deductibility of marijuana, medical or not.

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