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Would God really tell His followers to open up a pot shop? According to Bryan Davies, that’s exactly what happened.
Time reports that Bryan and Lanette Davies opened up the medical marijuana dispensary they run in Sacramento, Calif., on the advice of God. The shop, Canna Care, sells the drug to patients battling a range of ailments, from AIDS to insomnia to arthritic disorders.
“God told me to open up a cannabis shop,” Bryan Davies says.
The couple reportedly uses their store to spread their Christian faith. There are Bibles on a table in the lobby for anyone to take, and all of the employees—and sometimes patrons—stop what they’re doing every day at 6 p.m. to hold hands and pray.
“It has to do with taking care of the sick and ill,” Lanette Davies explains. “Jesus Christ made a statement that all people should care for one another, and this is our way of taking that to our community.”
The Davies are currently involved in a case with the Internal Revenue Service that could set an important precedent for the medical marijuana community, according to Time.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are not allowed to deduct ordinary expenses, such as rent or payroll—which would be standard for an average small business—due to a 1982 law. Even if a business is operating legally according to state laws, the federal government and the IRS say the business is technically trafficking illegal drugs.
The couple has refused to pay an $875,000 tax bill the IRS says they owe and have gone to court to fight. They’re waiting for a ruling, which they say they’ll appeal if it’s not in their favor.
“We pay our taxes. We are completely legal in this state,” says Lanette Davies.
In the meantime, the couple will continue to sell pot while sharing the message of Jesus Christ.