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38  Continued from Page 37  have come out with products that are hemp based without the nicotine, so that consumers can roll and smoke their medicine without having to ingest unwanted substances. I purchased these hemp based products for my shop and they were confiscated by the state of RI. They are packaged the same way as the tobacco wraps, but do not contain nicotine. The reason they were confiscated was because it’s not tobacco; now the tobacco products have their own tax stamps, because it’s not tobacco the state argues that the hemp wraps are considered to be rolling and or a cigarette paper that needs a sep- arate tax stamp. The tax stamps only come in certain ways and are difficult to obtain, so what I did was pay the 80% excise tax up front to the state of RI.” This is a typical solution for many business owners that operate out of the state of Rhode Island. Many shops similar to Wonderland Smoke shop have the option of paying a higher taxation rate upfront rather than paying it on the backend. This option assists many business owners to stay on top of their taxes and to offer tax compliant products directly to the consumer. According to RI state law, Mr. Souza should be considered compliant based on the cur- rent legislation, but that simply wasn’t the case. “It’s a paper that needs a tax stamp, I was told by the state rep that confis- cated my hemp products and fined me. I was told they were taken and not compliant because they did not have a stamp on them, even though I paid the 80% excise tax upfront. The fine they sent me stated I was supposed to pay 21 cents per unit, each unit contained two hemp wraps. When I did the math out, I ended paying almost four times over the amount when I paid the     

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