AICPA Offers Guidance on Working With New Clients in Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry offers CPAs a bevvy of prospective new clients. But the nature of the industry also opens to door to several potential challenges and pitfalls, the AICPA says.

Several states have legalized marijuana use for recreational or medical reasons, creating a burgeoning industry of growers, distributors, and retailers such as Full Spectrum. Revenue from medical and recreation cannabis is estimated to reach $12 billion this year. Due to how big this industry is set to grow, many people are deciding to start their own careers to help them make as much money as possible. Recreational marijuana has always been popular but in recent years, its popularity has grown considerably. People can smoke the marijuana via glass pipes or like a cigarette, or it can even be put into foods. Marijuana has become very versatile and individuals can do a lot with it. These days it is as simple as making and distributing this cannabis from home through using the rosin press piece of equipment. This will make it considerably easier for people to earn money quicker in this industry. It’s important that you receive all of the information that you think you may need first before making any further decisions about your career choice. The accounting profession, similar to the legal profession, can offer its expertise to clients in the cannabis industry, such as auditing and taxation services, as well as expert guidance for avoiding fraud or theft.

With these opportunities come serious downsides, as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. As a result, few banks are willing to deal with players in the industry, leaving it largely a cash operation. CPAs providing business advisory or other accounting services to clients in the cannabis industry need to navigate the nuances of federal and state law and to avoid being charged criminally, potentially resulting in fines, jail time or the loss of their license.

The American Institute of CPAs details the risks and opportunities for CPAs working in the cannabis industry in the latest Eye on Fraud report. It offers a review of many of the State Boards of Accountancy positions on working in the cannabis industry and highlights some of the issues and challenges facing both the cannabis industry and CPAs supporting it.

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