As the market for medicinal marijuana continues to grow, so do the opportunities for CPAs to get involved.
“You have companies that are operating that need a lot of assistance from an operations standpoint,” said Justin Breidenbach, CPA, associate professor of accounting at Ohio Wesleyan University. “Everything from bookkeeping to keeping solid records and making sure you’re in line with state regulations.”
Breidenbach, who has studied the business impact of the marijuana industry for years, joined us on the latest podcast episode of The State of Business.
“What the industry needs is anything any industry needs,” he said. “What you’re doing in your current area you could be doing in the cannabis industry, but you’ve got to understand what always has worked in your traditional industry might not fully work when applied to cannabis.”
Much of the difference lies in the regulations and restrictions here, Breidenbach said.
When looking to understand more about the industry, reach out to cannabis experts. But be careful to ensure you’re working with reputable individuals. Breidenbach said he’s heard of companies or individuals positioning themselves as experts, when they actually only have basic knowledge. He also said to be cautious when talking to individuals in other states, because their laws and regulations will be much different than Ohio.
“You have to be really careful who you’re paying,” he said.
It’s a small community now, Breidenbach said, and most people working in the industry are happy to share knowledge and work together to solve problems.
He urged companies to do their homework when considering getting involved, and said “it’s not something you should dabble in.” He warned against thinking it’s possible to casually start working in the industry because you have knowledge in another business sector.
“Do a lot of reading and a lot of research,” he said. “Make sure you understand all the unique nuances of the industry compared to what you know.”
Listen to the full episode now, and be sure to subscribe to hear weekly episodes wherever you get your podcasts!