Did you know that finding a location and going through the permitting process is one of the first things that Cannabis licensing authorities are asking for from applicants? One of the greatest challenges that Cannabis business owners face is finding a place to operate. Just because Cannabis is legal doesn’t mean that local authorities will allow operators in their jurisdiction. Then there’s zoning and dealing with the community at large to approve an incoming Cannabis business.
Keep in mind, finding an approved location happens before there is any guarantee of a license, so there is a huge amount of liability and financial entanglement involved early on. And since the licensing process can be a huge game of hurry-up-and-wait, having a strategy and utilizing an accountant that understands how 280E effects real estate, how to prepare and maintain your financials for the licensing process, and how to properly...
Ever since the green wave of Cannabis started sweeping the nation, the state of bookkeeping and accounting has been changed as we know it. With more and more states legalizing both recreational and medicinal marijuana, the need for experienced accounting professionals is higher than ever.
But Cannabis Accounting isn’t as simple as one may hope. You may be familiar with some of the rules and regulations put in place from 280e and 471, but do you know the extent of legal trouble you could be putting your clients through if they’re not compliant?
From having to pay massive fines to losing their licenses, there is a lot at stake when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping in this industry.
In this blog, we’ll talk more about the state of Cannabis in the United States today, where it’s going in the future, and how you can assert yourself and your firm as experts in the industry.
From cash control issues to inadequate reporting and POS software, accounting for Cannabis dispensaries is no easy feat and making the wrong move can land your client in serious legal trouble.
Accounting professionals claiming to have Cannabis experiences are often misinterpreting tax codes in an effort to increase deductions dispensaries may not be allowed to take. This means that the CEOs who are heavily relying on their accounting teams are unknowingly putting their company at risk of large fees, or worse, being shut down for not following the correct procedure under IRC 280E.
Professionals who are new to the Cannabis industry that have never worked with such large sums of cash are also often finding themselves in a bind by relying on accounting controls from the past that likely won’t work in this industry. The fact of the matter is that if you want to successfully keep your Cannabis clients in compliance, you...
When it comes to cannabis record-keeping, not every dispensary wants to spend the fees on an accountant specific to the niche. That’s what happened to one dispensary owner in Colorado, who owes $391K in tax deficiencies and an additional $78K in accuracy-related penalties.
But how exactly did this happen?
According to the notice of deficiency for tax years 2010 and 2011, the IRS found poor record-keeping, lack of check registers, no physical inventory counts, reduction of COGS, and the denial of ordinary and necessary business expenses were more than enough to penalize the dispensary.
In Altermeds, the Tax Court upheld the imposition of a 20% tax penalty on the taxpayer for the underpayment of the tax liability resulting from the deductions taken. Various medical and recreational marijuana practices have been legalized in the majority of the states; however, the last major hurdle, the Section 280E prohibition,...
As states across our country continue to legalize Cannabis every year, CPAs, bookkeepers, and accounting professionals are steadily encountering new clients who want to serve the Cannabis industry. The AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants} has now recognized the need for providing guidance and support to accountants who may support the quickly growing Cannabis market.
Calling on industry leaders, the AICPA held its first 2-day Cannabis education conference, the AICPA and CIMA Cannabis Conference, on November 8 and 9, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among the Cannabis accounting and tax leaders that presented at this conference are DOPE CFO Founder Andrew Hunzicker, CPA, along with DOPE CFO students Paula Collins, Molly Mayfield, and Carlos Vela.
Read on for highlights of the DOPE CFO member’s presentations.
The AICPA and CIMA Cannabis Conference 2021...
Due to the fact that Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug (in spite of the fact that the majority of states in this country have voted to legalize Cannabis in some form or fashion), ALL Cannabis companies must comply with 280E. There’s little grey area here, but if you’re in the business of harvesting, producing, manufacturing, or selling Cannabis in any way, shape, or form, your business is not able to legally take deductions.
NOTE: When forming a legal entity it is best that all parties involved seek experienced, informed legal counsel. Preferably a tax AND corporate attorney that can help guide you in making legal decisions.
At the inception of a Cannabis or CBD company, one of the most important first steps is to decide on the entity structure, where the client will be deciding how the business will be taxed, how equity will be dispersed when investors come on board, and how to protect the assets of owners, among other considerations.
There are so many things to consider during this crucial stage, so if a Cannabis or CBD CEO approaches you and wants to know…
“What’s the best entity structure for my Cannabis business…?”
The answer should always be…
“It all depends.”
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which entity structure to...
Cannabis startups are much more complicated than traditional startups. They face a set of unique challenges that require accountants to be clear on state licensing rules and federal regulations regarding controlled substances, making Cannabis companies 10x more likely to fail than non-Cannabis.
We’re not talking about not being successful in business -- we mean getting audited and paying massive fines, criminal charges against CEOs for illegal market activity, loss of licensure, and running out of money due to poor financial planning and insights.
We promise there’s a way to help things run smoothly and set your clients up for long-term success. It just requires understanding the day-to-day challenges a Cannabis startup faces and dedicating yourself to learning the skills necessary to help your clients navigate those issues.
Cannabis accounting software is hard to come by, and options that do exist are abysmal at best. Most vendors won’t come near the federally illegal industry. Also, the software that is available tends to be buggy and won’t typically integrate well with your clients’ existing accounting software.
Without efficient “out-of-the-box” software solutions in place, you’d have to resort to pen and paper and archaic spreadsheets. Not only is that method time-consuming, but it’s also incredibly error-prone and inconvenient. You need smooth, systematic, and repeatable software solutions and workarounds to streamline accurate Cannabis accounting, which will keep keep your clients profitable and compliant.
We questioned more than 800 accounting professionals that are currently in the DOPE CFO program and are successfully helping clients. To help you navigate the...
If you’re a Cannabis accounting professional, or are working towards learning how to serve clients in this space, you may have already experienced the frustrations of trying to reach out to Cannabis clients, only to be told that you’re not needed because they “already have an in-house bookkeeper” and that they’re sure their current accounting system is just fine. Until Cannabis CEOs understand that their practices are often inaccurate and self-damaging (as they likely don’t have access to or an understanding of the cost accounting tools required), they may not understand until they’re slapped with a severe penalty.
Understanding the myths that business owners believe about Cannabis accounting can give you a leg up on understanding their perspective, and may better form how you pitch your value to them when you do reach out. For every myth they believe, you can counter with a well-researched answer, illuminating the consequences of...