As marijuana becomes increasingly legalized throughout the country, it is now a profitable income generator for many people in the marijuana business. The potential of losing your license to own a marijuana business is a frightening one.
In California, where recreational marijuana is on the verge of becoming legally available statewide, lawmakers are finalizing industry and licensing rules. As the industry comes into the light, those in the marijuana business are more likely to be required to pay overdue child support or potentially lose their business licenses.
The ability for state child support service departments to revoke business and other licenses isn't anything unique across the country. As the head of California's North Coast Regional Department of Child Support Services says, "It's kind of a heavy enforcement tool."
Better Documentation Will Help Collection Efforts
However, it's been difficult for the state to know how much those in the industry earned so that they could determine what they were able to pay. Now with a legal market for and state regulation of recreational marijuana, people who work in that business will have W-2 forms and other documentation that accurately reflect their income.
This could come as a surprise to those who have been growing and selling medical marijuana in the state for years. The Child Support Services official says that "I think there are folks in the industry that don't even realize that we exist."
Working with the State Is a Wise Move
Just because the state will now have a better idea of whether those in the marijuana business are able to pay the amount they owe in child support, that doesn't mean they're going to go after them full steam ahead. State officials want to work with them to help get as much of the child support that they owe their families without having to penalize them by revoking their license. The official in Northern California says, "The last thing we want to do is take away their capacity to earn money." Child Support Services is encouraging those who work in the business and are having problems making their payments in full and/or on time to go to their website and open a case.
If you are having difficulty making your child support payments as ordered, it's never a wise idea to try to hide your income and hope that the state doesn't catch up with you. Most child services professionals want to work with parents to get the money that their children need without damaging the parents' ability to earn a living or support themselves. An experienced family law attorneycan provide important legal guidance.
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