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 In the age of significant taxation, most of us know at least one business own- er that tries to avoid paying Uncle Sam. However, one man in Rhode Island attempted to pay his taxes and was fined for doing so. Fined for following the law you say? Yes, one smoke shop owner dealt with just that. Christopher Souza, the owner of Wonderland smoke shop in Warwick RI, al- ways runs a legitimate operation and follows state guidelines. Chris carries products made from hemp and other organic materials often purchased by those who partake in RI’s legal medical cannabis market. He has been bom- barded with requests from his customers to carry more natural products that do not contain tobacco as many of his clients have become more health con- scious since the beginning of the pandemic. “There are non-tobacco products that I sell at my shop that medical cannabis patients purchase so that they can consume their medicine. For example, roll- ing papers have always been legal in the state of RI with designated cigarette taxation stamps. Only distributors are able to access them and they can cost over 100k a roll for these stamps, making these products extremely expen- sive to legally sell.” This was done to prevent circumventing cigarette taxes in the state of Rhode Island; it also ensures that the state will not miss out on collecting taxes for consumers that choose to roll their own cigarettes. “Medical cannabis patients, that do not use tobacco products don’t want to have to smoke their medicine in a blunt wrap, which contains nicotine. They Continued on Page 38 37 CANNABIS FOR DUMMIES TAXING US SENSELESS 13 FOLDS MAGAZINE • ISSUE XXIX• NOVEMBER 2021 BY JULIE ANN MEJIA 

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