No business owner can manage their enterprise’s operations alone. That is, not if you want your business to succeed and grow.
This is especially the case for businesses in the cannabis space. Complex and ever-changing rules and regulations impose time and resource constraints that are overwhelming and costly to handle alone.
That’s why it’s imperative to recruit professional support with cannabis-specific expertise to help you manage and stay on top of all the details that keep your business running smoothly, from security to accounting to legal advice.
But which services are the most important ones to source? In this brief guide, we’ll talk you through the most essential services that your cannabusiness needs.
There is no uniform set of standards for marijuana businesses in the US due to federal prohibition. Legal requirements differ from state-to-state, so if you want to run a multi-state operation you need to understand and satisfy the specific rules and regulations for each jurisdiction you intend to operate in.
The first step is the licensing process. Since many states put a cap on the number of marijuana businesses that are allowed to operate, competition is often fierce and the application process itself is time-consuming and onerous.
An attorney with cannabis industry-specific expertise can help guide you through licensing process, ensuring all requirements are met.
Marijuana attorneys also help your cannabusiness stay compliant with both state and federal laws. Regulations concerning manufacturing, sales, and distribution of cannabis are constantly evolving. It’s too much to keep on top of, and if you don’t you could be held liable for an offense and have to pay a substantial penalty.
An attorney with cannabis-specific expertise will also be on hand to help you deal with any unexpected lawsuits for alleged offenses you may not even be aware of.
Security is a major priority for cannabusinesses. Dispensaries often have substantial sums of cash on hand as federal prohibition makes cannabis banking extremely difficult. This makes them prime targets for burglaries. Cultivators and distributors are also at risk of burglaries, since marijuana is a high-value product that’s relatively easy to transport.
Cybercrime also poses an increasing threat to marijuana retailers, distributors and cultivators alike.
So, in order to protect your finances, your customers and employees, as well as your inventory, you need a comprehensive security plan developed and implemented by experts.
Such a service provider with cannabis-specific expertise will be able to advise on the best way to keep money, data and other valuables safe from both internal and external theft.
An accountant with experience in the marijuana industry will not only be able to advise you on the most cost-effective way to structure your cannabusiness and manage your finances, they will also be able to keep you financially compliant with state and federal tax rules.
For marijuana businesses, IRC Tax Code 280E applies since cannabis is a federally-prohibited substance. This means marijuana businesses cannot deduct ordinary expenses, such as rent and payroll, from their tax bill. The only expenses that can be deducted are the Costs of Goods Sold (COGS), which means only those costs incurred directly from the product you sell, such as seeds, not the normal operating costs of your business.
An accountant can help you determine which expenses fall under COGS and which don’t. The savings on your tax bill can be hugely significant if this is done effectively.
An accountant dealing with your finances also means you can be sure you are complying with all relevant financial regulations. This is important for cannabusinesses since the IRS targets such enterprises for audits at a much higher rate than traditional businesses.
A cannabis-specific consultant can advise on various aspects of your marijuana business. From how to raise capital, to structuring a business plan, to conducting market research.
There’s something to be said for learning as you go, but equally a cannabis business consultant can furnish you with the facts you need and help you develop a strategy for success.
Cannabis consultants with a proven track record know what works and what doesn’t. Make use of that knowledge and expertise to grow your own cannabusiness.