Perspectives

insights into california's cannabis industry

Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) Investing for Cannabis Businesses
Taxation
Sandeep Singh

The Tax Code Giveth and The Tax Code Taketh Away: The Perils of Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) Investing

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) added a community revitalization program to the tax code by providing incentives to taxpayers who invest capital gains in economically distressed areas. The program is designed to unlock billions of dollars in capital gains for investment in these areas, referred to as “Qualified Opportunity Zones.” Taxpayers who realize capital gains by

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Finance 101 for Cannabis Startups: Budgets, Forecasts, and Foibles
Corporate & Transactional
Hilary St. Jean

Finance 101 for Cannabis Startups: Budgets, Forecasts, and Foibles

It’s no mystery that startups struggle to manage their budgets and company financials.  More often than not, early-stage companies have inaccurate financial forecasts; the fiscal runway isn’t long enough, and the budget falls short. The task of creating a projection at the start of a company is generally difficult for many reasons, including that the estimates used in the forecast

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Incorporating your cannabis business as a C Corp in light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA).
Corporate & Transactional
Sandeep Singh

Double Taxation No More? Why C Corporations are Making a Comeback!

One of the perennial questions faced by taxpayers when forming a business is whether to incorporate it as a C Corporation or to form a flow-through entity such as an LLC, partnership, or S corporation. For most small business owners, the choice thus far has been a simple one: unless non-tax related considerations weighed heavily in favor of a C

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This blog grapples with a common misunderstanding about hemp and hemp-derived CBD in the United States, specifically the belief that everyone is now freely permitted to cultivate and sell hemp and products containing hemp-derived CBD.
Regulatory Compliance
Ken Stratton

Hemp in the U.S. – Not Quite a Genie Unleashed

This blog grapples with a common misunderstanding about hemp and hemp-derived CBD in the United States, specifically the belief that everyone is now freely permitted to cultivate and sell hemp and products containing hemp-derived CBD. In truth, the hemp genie remains confined by some very significant regulations and restrictions, some of which we summarize below and some of which we

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Tax Court Deals Another Blow to Cannabis Businesses
Taxation
Sandeep Singh

Tax Court Deals Another Blow to Cannabis Businesses – Planning for §280E After the Alternative Healthcare Decision

Since the Tax Court’s decision in CHAMP v. Commissioner, cannabis businesses have rarely snagged a tax victory. The Tax Court’s decisions in Patients Mutual v. Commissioner and Alternative Healthcare Advocates v. Commissioner, issued in November and December 2018, respectively, adds to the pile of crushing losses for cannabis business owners. What is §280E and what how does it apply to cannabis

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City of Los Angeles: Update on Department of Cannabis Regulations (DCR) Recommendations
Permitting And Licensing
Blair Gue

City of Los Angeles: Update on Department of Cannabis Regulations (DCR) Recommendations

On February 12, 2019, we discussed the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulations (“DCR”) recommendations to the City’s Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee (the “Committee”) regarding Phase III of the cannabis business licensing process. This is a brief update to that original post. On February 15, 2019, Kat Packer presented the DCR’s recommendations to the Committee. After hearing from

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The latest CDPH Regulations regarding Cannabinoid - THC & CBD - Content Labeling
Regulatory Compliance
Lindsay Whyte

The Latest Approved CDPH Regulations (2019) for THC & CBD Content Labeling

In December 2017, California’s three cannabis licensing authorities – the Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”), the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), and the California Department of Food & Agriculture (“CDFA”) – adopted emergency cannabis regulations designed to “clarify and make specific licensing and enforcement criteria for commercial cannabis businesses under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Regulation and Safety Act” (“MAUCRSA”).

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Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Recommends Major Changes to its Phase III Storefront Cannabis Retail Licensing Process
Permitting And Licensing
Blair Gue

Major Changes Recommended for Los Angeles’ Phase III Storefront Cannabis Retail Licensing Process

On February 8, 2019, the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (“the DCR”) issued a report to the City’s Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations Committee (the “Committee”) recommending a number of amendments to the City’s cannabis program that it believes will make the licensing process more efficient, transparent and equitable. The ten-page report signals a significant shift in DCR policy and

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California recently tasked CalCannabis with developing a process for licensed cannabis cultivators to establish state cannabis appellations - the CalCannabis Appellations Project.
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

What the CalCannabis Appellations Project means for California Cannabis Cultivators, Manufacturers & Retailers.

Tequila from Mexico, Roquefort cheese from France…cannabis from Humboldt?!  Consumers around the world place great importance on the place of origin for many agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.  This trend holds true in the cannabis industry. Many in cannabis companies recognize the importance of promoting the geographic origin, otherwise known in trademark lingo as

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Cannabis Tax Requirements for California Cannabis Businesses
Taxation
Lindsay Whyte

CDTFA’s Cannabis Tax Requirements for California Businesses

It is important for all commercial cannabis business operators to be well-versed in the tax requirements they will be subject to. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has made clear that each commercial cannabis business that sells cannabis or cannabis products must register with the CDTFA for a seller’s permit, and must regularly file sales and use

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