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Emerging Cannabis Accounting Trend: Conference Recap

Emerging Cannabis Accounting Trend: Conference Recap


by Hugh Duffy

Cannabis accounting

The legal marijuana industry is on the rise in the United States and with it creating a niche market for accountants. Build Your Firm attended the AICPA Cannabis & Agriculture conference in Denver last month and wanted to share the highlights.

This is an emerging trend in a recession proof industry that many are seeing as the new frontier, a kind of modern day gold rush! Awaiting federal legality, each state is maneuvering how to handle legalized marijuana creating an opportunity for the financial and accounting industry to be on the front lines.

The cannabis accounting conference took place in Denver, Colorado for almost three days and was combined with farming/agriculture accounting. In terms of resources present was a news organization which provides articles for the cannabis Industry. Also present were organizations providing how to be accounting/bookkeeping cannabis experts, continual educational support, and a community of cannabis accountants offering advice. There was a cannabis franchise for accountants to procure to become a cannabis CFO; receive training, learning trends, how to prospect clients and ongoing support within a franchise community. In attendance was also a payment system that will accept cannabis clients such as growers and stores.

Before entering the cannabis market it is imperative to understand the unique situations faced by accountants by identifying key accounting & tax issues distinctive to this industry. Cannabis accounting takes an accountant with a certain mindset to access your risk tolerance prior to creating your business model. Some issues to consider are court cases, cash businesses, banking, insurance, internal controls, and compatible software systems.

Realizing this may not be for everyone, if you are thinking about the cannabis industry it’s important to examine your state laws (if approved) and if not approved to look into it estimated path to legality. The next step is to get involved with your state legislature and policy makers.

Also discussed at the conference was the social equity impact facing the cannabis industry; what it means and how accountants can service these clients providing economic empowerment and minority participation within this industry. Another session went over the issues raising capital with cannabis; understanding the options for funding available and typical methods of raising start-up capital. Bottom line is if you are looking for a challenging ever changing niche, consider Cannabis Accounting.

Additional show highlights were Congressman Perimutter from Colorado, who gave an update on the cannabis banking legislation, the SAFE Banking Act, and discussed other news of the day concerning federal and state marijuana policy reform efforts. He addressed the impact of politics and cannabis accounting while identifying key political & legal factors impacting the industry.

These complicated matters are why many financial services shy away from providing services in the cannabis industry which is making accountants more important to help cannabis clients navigate these waters.

Build Your Firm builds Cannabis Accounting Websites and ANY accounting niche websites. For more information visit our niche website page  or contact us at 888-999-9800, ext. 1, or email us at

Hugh Duffy