Opinions and Legal Insights

Accountants from Coast to Coast Meet to Discuss Cannabis Issues

This week, the California and Colorado Society of CPAs, along with 18 other state CPA groups, from Alabama to Iowa, are hosting a virtual event that they hope will answer some of the toughest cannabis-related questions that certified public accountants face as they advise clients in the industry.

Topics included how the cannabis industry was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and how it might recover, hemp and cannabidiol in food, intellectual property and taxation, and regulatory, banking, and labor issues.

Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, kicked off the event with a birds-eye update on cannabis. While much of the national cannabis conversation has focused on whether President Donald Trump might legalize cannabis if re-elected, or if former Vice President Joe Biden will go beyond his plan to decriminalize, Smith emphasized that attention should be on the five states that have adult-use and medical legalization on their ballots this fall (New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Montana).

“We have a federal regulatory scheme that has been now put into place for federally-regulated hemp production in the United States. But the federal government would rather not do the regulating itself. It doesn’t have the resources. It doesn’t have the interest,” said Bush, a lawyer with Hoban Law Group, adding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interim final rule on hemp production has created controversy. (Read Cannabis Wire’s coverage of the rule.)

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