Category: aBIZinaBOX Inc. and Jordan S. Zoot

Weedmap’s Under subpoena and Federal  investigation

We have been writing for some time about Weedmaps making millions by giving illegal operations a home and safe haven to sell their unregulated items at discount prices. Thus, in the face of massive fines, Weedmaps, this past January, finally capitulated and pledged to drop ads for illegal vendors from its online directory.  As discussed in our last newsletter, Weedmaps agreed to modify their policy, which new policy seems to have more holes in it than a kitchen colander.  

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Surviving Legislation

We were prompted to write this note by the article “Cannabis Regulation: The Struggle of Small Farmers,” written by Lance Griffin and published on February 21, 2020, in Terpenes and Testing Magazine. We were prompted to write this article not for what Lance Griffin’s article says but for what it does not say.

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Wake Up California !

WAKE UP CALIFORNIA!, On February 14th the Los Angeles Times published an article by Joe Mozingo entitled “Cannabis Farm Was a Model for California’s Legal Industry”. Then Came a Sheriff’s Raid.” The article suggests the law enforcement officers who executed the search warrant were surprised by extent of the criminal activity at this “model” cannabis farm. Wake up California! Wake up Santa Barbara County!

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California Regulated Cannabis: Reboot in 2020!!

The merriment of the holiday season has not overtaken California’s cannabis industry as 2019 comes to a close. The Legislature, Governor Newsom’s office, cannabis regulatory agencies (principally BCC, CalCannabis, CDPH, and CDTFA), law enforcement agencies, and a multitude of other groups and individuals interested in this industry have been confronted with the reality of a disaster. To paraphrase my father’s recurring admonition when something I attempted went wrong, “It is your own damn fault because you did not think it through.”

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Crapo. Grinch Or Politician ?

We are busy with a cross-country relocation, but we nevertheless felt compelled to make a quick comment in response to NORML’s knee-jerk December 23, 2019, post.

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Greed & Cannabis

Our interest in California’s cannabis industry extends far beyond taxes. We have a substantial personal and historical perspective relating to cannabis in California. Members of our staff have been involved in California’s cannabis industry since Haight-Ashbury was the place to be in the mid-1960s. Members of our team have witnessed both the damage and the benefit of cannabis. Members of our staff have observed first-hand the injuries the federal government has caused through misguided, oppressive, and racist policies relating to cannabis. “Cannabis is a dangerous drug. Greed is also a dangerous drug. The combination of these two drugs is the principal reason for the chaos in California ‘s cannabis industry. Of these two drugs, greed is the more dangerous.”

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Proposition 215 Conversions: Read the law! The California Legislature anticipated this problem

A few days ago, we published a short note that described how a Cannabis Cooperative Association (“CCA”) could be utilized to circumvent the confiscatory nature of Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §280E[i]. Several our readers, including some purported experts, advised us that our suggestion would not work for them because the business organization with which they were involved pre-dated the enabling legislation for CCAs…………..Read the law! The California Legislature anticipated this problem.

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IRC Sec. 280E Insanity

The two Harborside cases created an opportunity for analysis and a solid foundation for tax planning going forward for the cannabis industry. Such planning is what tax professionals should be engaged with on a daily basis.

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Major Cannabis Tremors

October 17th is remembered by many Californians as the anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Both the San Francisco Bay Bridge and the Cypress Freeway collapsed. Millions around the world witnessed the fires in the Marina District. The Loma Prieta earthquake is now a memory for most Californians. More recent disasters have supplanted these memories. Many present day Californians were not here.

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Tax Court’s decision in Harborside A Big Challenge For CA Cannabis Dispensaries

We once again visit the Tax Court’s decision in Harborside[1]. This time we will focus on statements made to the public and in financial statement related disclosures. More importantly, we will focus on what has NOT been said. Lest anyone suggest we are beating a dead horse, the Tax Court decision yesterday in Northern California Small Business Assistants, Inc. v. Commissioner, 153 T.C. No. 4 (October 23, 2019), confirms the predictions we made two years ago.

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Trivializing Legal Advice

We were prompted to write this note in part by an article published on the Harris Bricken Canna Law Blog entitled, Five Common Problems in California Cannabis M&A Transactions. The article describes five minor, and very obvious, points that must be considered in connection with such a transaction:

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California Repeals 280E for Personal Income Tax

California Repeals 280E for Personal Income Tax – Existing law, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities and authorizes persons to conduct specified commercial cannabis activities, as defined, in the state.

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California: Review- Kanha CMS Works Wonders With METRC

We don’t have experiences that impress or “WOW” us very often. Perhaps we have become jaded. However, we had one today, and are still attempting to digest it. We spend most of our time working in the commercial cannabis industry in California – complaints about the complexity of licensing, tax reporting and regulatory compliance are constant. The implementation of the METRC compliance system in California became a running joke with single and double digit usage out of thousands of licensees.

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California: Jordan Zoot – Commentary on Legislation Assembly Bill 1296

CA AG’s Office Press Release February 2019. “Friday, February 22, 2019 .California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Assembly woman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) today at the Port of San Diego unveiled legislation to substantially strengthen the state’s efforts to combat the illegal underground economy in California that targets the most vulnerable members of our community. Assembly Bill 1296 will expand California’s unique, multi-agency task force of law enforcement professionals known as the Tax Recovery and Underground Economy (TRUE) Team that currently operates out of Sacramento and Los Angeles.”

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Un Pesce Marcisce Dalla sua Testa

Un Pesce Marcisce Dalla sua Testa is an old Sicilian proverb that translates “a fish rots from its head”. The statement appears to be an accurate summary of present condition of both the private and governmental sides of California’s cannabis industry.

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