Matthew Price, part owner and operator of Portland and Eugene medical marijuana dispensaries called Cannabliss, was sentenced Monday to seven months in prison, marking what a prosecutor called the country’s first federal sentencing of a legal marijuana business owner for tax crimes.
Price, 32, pleaded guilty to four counts of willfully failing to file income tax returns, a misdemeanor. He was ordered to pay $262,776 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for the tax loss. Copy of Cannabis Pricing – Dispensary
Price must turn himself in on Nov. 1.
The court must address a unique question in the case: Can Price continue working in his marijuana business until his surrender or after he completes his prison term? A hearing is set Friday to decide.
The matter arises because using or selling marijuana remains prohibited under federal law and is a standard prohibition during federal supervision.
Sell Cannabis – Fail Paying Taxes – Jail
As he was cheating on his taxes, Price was advising the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on appropriate rules for the state’s recreational marijuana businesses, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Uram.
Oregon lawmakers approved a medical marijuana dispensary registry system in 2012, regulating an already-robust retail market for medical cannabis. Two years later, Oregon voters said yes to recreational marijuana, allowing anyone 21 and older to possess and grow marijuana and creating a taxed and regulated system for retail sales. Oregon issued its first licenses to recreational cannabis retailers in the fall of 2016.
With almost 1,000 new retail marijuana businesses in Oregon “ripe for tax cheating,” the prosecutor urged the judge to send Price to prison for a year and one day to foster tax compliance. A sentence of probation would encourage similar tax cheating in a lightly regulated industry, Uram argued.
“Cash-intensive businesses of all kinds are notoriously susceptible to tax cheating, and Oregon’s retail marijuana businesses are no different,” he wrote in a sentencing memo. “The court should not forego an opportunity to deter tax cheating by state-legal marijuana business owners who are going to wake up the day after Price’s sentencing hearing, read an article about his sentence, and decide what to do next April 15.”
Sell Cannabis – Fail Paying Taxes – Jail
Price failed to report nearly $1 million of income and disregarded advice from three different certified public accountants who for years warned him not to use his business money to pay personal expenses, the prosecutor said.
But Price did anyway, spending $67,000 in cash on a sports car, $15,000 in cash on a Rolex watch and other income on tropical vacations, expensive homes and season tickets to the Portland Trail Blazers, Uram said.
Rumored – Marlboro Man’s Ghost Reappears Rumored – Marlboro Man’s Ghost Reappears – and should SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY. Source: Tobacco Giant Altria Is ‘Exploring Options’ On Marijuana Tobacco giant Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris and owner of many popular cigarette brands, is “exploring options” within the cannabis industry, company … Continue reading “Rumored – Marlboro Man’s Ghost Reappears”
Rumored – Marlboro Man’s Ghost Reappears Rumored – Marlboro Man’s Ghost Reappears – and should SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY. Source: Tobacco Giant Altria Is ‘Exploring Options’ On Marijuana Tobacco giant Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris and owner of many popular cigarette brands, is “exploring options” within the cannabis industry, company … Continue reading "Rumored – Marlboro Man’s Ghost Reappears"
Cannabis Temple Garments Bishop’s Interview – what do these three concepts have in common? Well, the answer involves the State of Utah, and the Church of the Latter Day Saints [“LDS”], aka Mormons. Perhaps a bit of background is necessary to understand both the context and the influence of the Mormon Church on the process of attempting to legalize medical cannabis in Utah. We thought it would be instructive to begin with an explanation of the significance of the background to properly understand the LDS view of medical cannabis.
To those outside a particular faith, the rituals and clothing may seem unfamiliar. But for the participants, they can stir the deepest feelings of the soul, motivate them to do good, even shape the course of a whole life of service.
The nun’s habit. The priest’s cassock. The Jewish prayer shawl. The Muslim’s skullcap. The saffron robes of the Buddhist monk. All are part of a rich tapestry of human devotion to God.
Not all such religious vestments are on public display. Some are seen only in places of worship. Temple robes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as the robes of the holy priesthood, are worn only inside Mormon temples and reserved for the highest sacraments of the faith. White symbolizes purity. There is no insignia or rank. The most senior apostle and the newest member are indistinguishable when dressing in the same way. Men and women wear similar clothing. The simple vestments combine religious symbolism with echoes of antiquity reflected in ancient writings from the book of Exodus
However, many faithful Latter-day Saints wear a garment under their clothing that has deep religious significance. Similar in design to ordinary modest underclothing, it comes in two pieces and is usually referred to as the “temple garment.”
Some people incorrectly refer to temple garments as magical or “magic underwear.” These words are not only inaccurate but also offensive to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is nothing magical or mystical about temple garments, and Church members ask for the same degree of respect and sensitivity that would be afforded to any other faith by people of goodwill.
Temple garments are worn by adult members of the Church who have made sacred promises of fidelity to God’s commandments and the gospel of Jesus Christ in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Cannabis Temple Garments Bishop’s Interview
First is when the Mormon lay leader of a congregation (usually the bishop and always a male) calls in the boys and girls in his flock from age 12 on up for an annual interview to ask about their testimonies, church attendance, faithfulness to the LDS health code (called the Word of Wisdom) and adherence to the law of chastity.
Some bishops pose pointed questions about moral cleanliness in these conversations, perhaps quizzing about masturbation, heavy petting or fornication, and cannabis use while others keep their queries more general.
The other type of interview is when penitent members go to their bishops to confess actions the church deems to be “serious sins.” This exchange may also delve into details of intimate sexual behavior. Outside of the religious context, such inquiries could be seen as inappropriate if not outright misconduct. But, of course, context is everything.
Part of the function of many religions is to encourage, discourage and even regulate certain behaviors so it makes sense for Mormon bishops to ask about sexual issues to help members, if need be, get right with God. The question becomes how to do that carefully and respectfully.
Bishops and interviewees “may review together … teachings in the scriptures or other church resources, such as “For the Strength of Youth,” a guide distributed to all young Mormons that includes the faith’s sexual standards.
The first polling data since Utah’s predominate Mormon church joined the fight against a ballot initiative to legalize the use of medical marijuana showed a drop in support for the measure, particularly among the faith’s most devout followers.
Published online Tuesday, the UtahPolicy.com poll found that overall support for Proposition 2 has dropped by 8 percentage points. A downward shift in the poll numbers was expected to follow Mormon church leaders’ decision to voice public opposition to Prop. 2 at a news conference on Aug. 23, and this poll was taken during August 22 – 31.
The faith does not oppose the use of medical cannabis, but leaders have said that they object to the specifics of the initiative, which they fear would create a host of public safety issues and societal harms.
Cannabis Temple Garments Bishop’s Interview
The church’s public announcement was followed by an email blast that urged the Mormon faith’s members — who make up about 60 percent of Utah’s population of 3 million — to vote against the initiative.
“The best research on this has shown that very active Mormons tend to be responsive, especially when church leaders make their views clear.With just nine weeks until Election Day, maintaining majority support for the initiative will undoubtedly depend on how the messages for and against Prop. 2 play with voters, Karpowitz said.
“That the rhetoric on both sides will be more visible and harder to avoid,” he said. “If the Mormon church remains engaged on this issue and the message of opposition remains clearer than it was prior to the church announcement, I think that can have an additional effect,” he said. Utah Patients Coalition, which led the Prop 2 campaign. did not respond to requests for comment.
For some Latter-day Saints, following the church’s lead on medical cannabis use may be more complicated than towing the line on past issues that seemed more distant or less personal.
“All of us have been sick, and we can imagine, or we’ve known someone who has experienced chronic pain,” Karpowitz said. “The stories from patients who have used [medical cannabis] are likely to be among the most powerful messages that are sent. And that’s because no one wants another person to be in pain or to be suffering.”
Church leaders have acknowledged the benefits medical marijuana use has provided for some patients and the faith has not fought medical cannabis legalization efforts any other state. Only in Utah has the church sought to influence public policy and opinion.
Cannabis – Gumballs Bad Combination is a post that is very likely going to land yours truly in a substantial amount of “hot water”. However after some reflection, to hell with it, the passing of Senator John S. McCain, III who is an American hero and an icon of the values that represent American individualism and of beliefs and values about doing what is right, for a greater good, even if it isn’t in our immediate self-interest makes this an easy one. The success or failure of the legal, commercial cannabis industry depends, in large measure, on four factors. They are:
The creation and development of regulated, legal markets that are perceived as fair, having a reasonable cost without the complexity that so onerous that compliance is impossible [Our view is that California is well on its way to achieving that goal, though there are some significant corrections, notably with respect to compassionate medical use, compliance, and lab testing, and banking to be addressed.]
The development of a significant pool of licensed professionals, particularly attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents [yep, that group that I poke at all the time is critical here assuming that they have the requisite thirty hours or accounting], and scientists [my term for the chemists, healthcare, and others with graduate-level degrees and professional licenses that are critical to demonstrating the integrity of the industry to the regulators.
Competent Skilled Workforce
The workforce that performs substantially all of the labor and services [distinct from Licensed Professionals] that provides skilled, semi-skilled and manual labor for the cannabis industry [akin the enlisted ranks in the military] are critical. The workforce needs to be recognized as performing legal, legitimate services that feed families and contribute to communities, part of the legal immigration, taxation, and healthcare systems [free from the scourges of human trafficking and scourges of discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse]. Cannabis needs to lose its status as “a plant with an attitude” and be recognized for what has become, legal agricultural activity in California and other states. [The larger discussion includes, delisting from DEA Schedule I, acceptance by FinCEN and the banking system and a change in IRC Sec. 280E, possible replacement with an excise tax.].
Industry Self-Governance, Guidelines, and Process
The commercial cannabis industry needs to follow through on the creation of organizations, standards, and procedures to demonstrate its integrity. The process is going to have to include leadership from industry associations that take a long view with respect to lobbying activity, an objective process for the selection and sponsorship of content providers at trade shows and on websites. The abhorrent practices of “pay for play” for platform speakers, and tolerance of incompetence, outright criminal conduct, and the pontification of rubbish, blather, and gibberish as “expert knowledge” needs to cease. Pseudo-scientific claims and self-aggrandizement can NOT be tolerated if the industry is going to have credibility.
Cannabis – Gumballs Bad Combination
Our next several articles are going to dig into the practices and conditions that attention for the four prongs to develop. Specific examples that we will explore include:
“Pay to Play“ – Financial costs, beyond association membership for platform speaking slots at trade shows and conferences.
“Toxic Spew“ – The willingness by the website owners, community and forum managers overlook criminality, incompetence, and the ramblings of soothsayers and “tossers” [collectively “Toxic Spew“] merely because they provide financial recompense. If posted content falls within that definition, it is rubbish and should NOT be published for sake of filling space.
“Whistleblowers“ and anyone else with the requisite expertise that identifies Toxic Spew must be protected, acknowledged and valued by the owners, sponsors, and managers for their role in bringing integrity to the industry. The banning, muzzling, shunning and castigation needs to end immediately, and any one individual or entity that engages in such practices scorned, sanctioned, subject to penalties that include reporting to regulatory authorities and law enforcement.
Respect, Dignity and Safe Environment– Everyone is entitled to expect that their interactions with colleagues, agents, suppliers, and clients will be non-threatening and respectful [that doesn’t preclude spirited disagreement or even argument] on a reciprocal basis. A safe, healthy, and productive work environment is a right, and in many jurisdictions, the law. Everyone needs to commit to eliminating any actions or circumstances that undermine such an environment. Unlawful discrimination, verbal or physical harassment or abuse, or offensive behavior (whether or not sexually related) is unacceptable and requires immediate, clear and consistent consequences.
We have chosen to label the unwillingness or lack of fortitude on the part of anyone with the responsibility to be part of the solution to these issues as Gumballs [which is hereby stipulated to be gender neutral]. We are going to spare everyone the mental images that would come with my effort to elucidate the definition.
We all need to be part of the solution, otherwise, we are part of the problem.
What are the Responsibilities of a California Cannabis Distributor under the regulations of the Bureau of Cannabis Control?
Distributor licensees are responsible for
Transporting cannabis goods
Arranging for testing of cannabis goods
Conducting quality assurance review of cannabis goods to ensure they comply with all the packaging and labeling requirements.
Distributor transport licenses allow for
Transport of cannabis goods between licensed cultivators manufacturers, and distributors.
A distributor transport licensee may not transport cannabis goods to a licensed retailer
A distributor transport licensee may not engage in any other distributor activates.
The section that follows contains excerpts from the Readopted Regulations…where you see a “**” next to the title of the regulation, there are details that have omitted to keep this guide at a manageable size. You should ALWAYS check the actual regulations if there is a doubt. They can be found here.
A distributor shall not store non-cannabis goods or non-cannabis accessories that are to be sold to another party on any licensed premises. Additionally, a distributor shall not distribute noncannabis goods or non-cannabis accessories at licensed premises. For the purposes of this section, non-cannabis goods are any goods that do not meet the definition of cannabis goods as defined in section 5000(c) of this division. top
§ 5301. Storage-only Services
A distributor may provide cannabis goods storage-only services to a licensed cultivator, manufacturer, microbusiness, nonprofit, or another distributor, unrelated to the quality assurance and laboratory testing processes. top
§ 5302. Storage of Batches for Testing **
(a) A distributor shall ensure that all cannabis goods batches are stored separately and distinctly from other cannabis goods batches on the distributor’s premises.
(b) A distributor shall ensure a label with the following information is physically attached to each container of each batch: top
§ 5303. Packaging and Labeling **
(a) A distributor may package, re-package, label, and re-label cannabis for retail sale.
(b) A distributor shall not package, re-package, label, or re-label manufactured cannabis products except when the distributor also holds a manufacturing license and is packaging, re-packaging, labeling, or re-labeling its own manufactured cannabis products. top
§ 5304. Testing Arrangements
After taking physical possession of a cannabis goods batch, the distributor shall contact a testing laboratory and arrange for a laboratory employee to come to the distributor’s licensed premises to select a representative sample for laboratory testing.
(a) The distributor shall ensure that the batch size from which the sample is taken meets the requirements of this division.
(b) A distributor or an employee of the distributor shall be physically present to observe the laboratory employee obtain the sample of cannabis goods for testing and shall ensure that the increments are taken from throughout the batch. top
§ 5306. Laboratory Testing Results
(a) A sample “passes” a laboratory test when the sample meets specifications in chapter 6 of this division.
(b) When a batch from a manufactured or harvest batch passes, the cannabis goods may be transported to one or more retailers.
(c) A sample “fails” a laboratory test when the sample does not meet the specifications in chapter 6 of this division.
(d) If a failed sample was collected from a batch and the batch could be remediated pursuant to section 5727 of this division, a distributor may transport or arrange for the transportation of the batch to a manufacturer for remediation.
(e) A distributor shall destroy a batch that failed laboratory testing and cannot be remediated pursuant to section 5727 of this division. top
California Cannabis Distributor Responsibilities
§ 5307. Quality-Assurance Review **
When a distributor receives a certificate of analysis stating that the sample meets the specifications required by law, the distributor shall ensure the following before transporting the cannabis goods to one or more retailers:
(a) The certificate of analysis the distributor received from the testing laboratory is the certificate of analysis that corresponds to the batch;
(b) The label on the cannabis goods is consistent with the certificate of analysis regarding cannabinoid content and contaminants required to be listed by law; top
§ 5308. Insurance Requirements **
(a) An applicant for a distributor license shall provide the Bureau with a certificate of insurance that shows the types of insurance coverage and minimum amounts that have been secured as required by this section, and documentation establishing compliance with subsection (d) of this section.
(b) A distributor licensee shall at all times carry and maintain commercial general liability insurance in the aggregate in an amount no less than $2,000,000 and in an amount no less than $1,000,000 for each loss. top
§ 5309. Inventory Reconciliation
(a) A distributor shall reconcile all inventories of cannabis goods at least once every 14 days.
(b) A distributor shall keep an inventory log containing the following information for each batch:
(1) The name and license number of the manufacturer or cultivator who provided the batch;
(2) The date of entry into the distributor’s storage area;
(3) The unique identifiers and batch number associated with the batch;
(4) A description of the cannabis goods with enough detail to easily identify the batch;
(5) The weight of or quantity of units in the batch;
(6) The best-by, sell-by, or expiration date of the batch, if any; and
(7) Where on the premises the batch is kept.
(c) If a distributor finds a discrepancy between the inventory of stock and the inventory log or track and trace system that is outside of normal weight loss caused by moisture loss, the distributor shall commence a full audit of the batch in which the discrepancy was found. top
§ 5310. Records
(a) In addition to the records required by section 5037 of this division, a distributor shall maintain the following records:
(1) Records relating to branding, packaging, and labeling;
(2) Inventory logs and records;
(3) Transportation bills of lading and shipping manifest for completed transports and for cannabis goods in transit;
(4) Vehicle and trailer ownership records;
(5) Quality-assurance records;
(6) Records relating to destruction of cannabis goods;
(7) Laboratory-testing records;
(8) Warehouse receipts;
(9) Records relating to tax payments collected and paid under Sections 34011 and 34012 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. top
§ 5311. Requirements for the Transportation of Cannabis Goods
The following requirements apply when transporting cannabis goods between licensees or licensed premises:
(a) Transportation shall only be conducted by persons holding a distributor license under the Act, or employees of those persons.
(b) All vehicles transporting cannabis goods for hire shall be required to have a motor carrier permit pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 34620) of Division 14.85 of the Vehicle Code.
(c) Transportation by means of aircraft, watercraft, drone, rail, human-powered vehicle, and unmanned vehicle is prohibited.
(d) Cannabis goods shall only be transported inside of a vehicle or trailer and shall not be visible or identifiable from outside of the vehicle or trailer.
(e) Cannabis goods shall be locked in a box, container, or cage that is secured to the inside of the vehicle or trailer. For purposes of this section, the inside of the vehicle includes the trunk.
(f) While left unattended, vehicles and trailers shall be locked and secured.
(g) A distributor shall not leave a vehicle or trailer containing cannabis goods unattended in a residential area or parked overnight in a residential area.
(h) At a minimum, a distributor shall have a vehicle alarm system on all transport vehicles and trailers. Motion detectors, pressure switches, duress, panic, and hold-up alarms may also be used.
(i) Packages or containers holding cannabis goods shall not be tampered with, or opened, during transport.
(j) A distributor transporting cannabis goods shall only travel between licensees shipping or receiving cannabis goods and its own licensed premises when engaged in the transportation of cannabis goods. The distributor may transport multiple shipments of cannabis goods at once in accordance with applicable laws. A distributor shall not deviate from the travel requirements described in this section, except for necessary rest, fuel, or vehicle repair stops.
(k) Under no circumstances may non-cannabis goods, except for cannabis accessories as defined in Business and Professions Code section 26001(g), be transported with cannabis goods.
(l) Vehicles and trailers transporting cannabis goods are subject to inspection by the Bureau at any licensed premises or during transport at any time.
(m) Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (e) of this section, if it is not operationally feasible to transport cannabis goods inside of a vehicle or trailer because the licensed premises that the cannabis goods will be transported from and the licensed premises that will be receiving the cannabis goods are located within the same building or on the same parcel of land, the cannabis goods may be transported by foot, hand truck, forklift, or other similar means. A shipping manifest that complies with this division is required when transporting cannabis goods pursuant to this subsection. top
§ 5312. Required Transport Vehicle Information **
California Cannabis Distributor Responsibilities
§ 5313. Transport Personnel Requirements **
(a) No person under the age of 21 years old shall be in a commercial vehicle or trailer transporting cannabis goods; and
(b) Only a licensee or, an employee of the distributor, or security personnel who meets the requirement top
§ 5314. Shipping Manifest **
(a) Prior to transporting cannabis goods, a distributor shall generate a shipping manifest through the track and trace system for the following activities:
(1) Testing and sampling;
(2) Sale of cannabis goods to a licensee;
(3) Destruction or disposal of cannabis goods; and
(4) Any other activity, as required pursuant to this division, or by any other licensing authority.
(b) The distributor shall transmit the shipping manifest to the Bureau and the licensee that will receive the cannabis goods prior to transporting the cannabis goods. top
§ 5315. Distributor Transport Only License **
(a) A distributor transport only licensee may transport cannabis goods between licensees; however, they shall not transport any cannabis goods except for immature plants and seeds to a retailer or to the retailer portion of a microbusiness.
(b) A complete application for a distributor transport only license shall include all the information required in an application for a Type 11-Distributor license.
(c) The licensing fee for a distributor transport only license will be based in part upon whether the licensee intends to transport only cannabis goods that the licensee has cultivated or manufactured (self-distribution), or whether the licensee intends to transport cannabis goods cultivated or manufactured by other licensees.
(d) A distributor transport only licensee shall comply with all of the requirements for a holder of a Type 11-Distributor license, except for those related to quality assurance and testing.
(e) A distributor transport only licensee shall not hold title to any cannabis goods unless the licensee also holds a state-issued cultivation, manufacturing, retailer, or microbusiness license.
(f) Holding a distributor transport only license shall not authorize a licensee to:
(1) Engage in the delivery of cannabis goods as defined in Business and Professions Code section 26001(p);
(2) Engage in the wholesale, destruction, packaging, labeling, or storing of cannabis goods; or
(3) Arrange for the testing of cannabis goods by a testing laboratory. top
Check out our tools for dealing with California Cannabis Distributor Responsibilities
Distributors – Rule Changes in the Proposed Regulations
Clarifies that a distributor shall only distribute and store cannabis goods, cannabis accessories, and licensees’ branded merchandise or promotional materials and may not store live plants.
Clarifies that licensed distributors are allowed to package prerolls.
Requires distributors that relabel cannabis goods with the accurate amount of cannabinoids or terpenoids to provide the Certificate of Analysis to the manufacturer of the cannabis product.
Adds that the net weight on any package of dried flower shall not be considered inaccurate if the actual weight is within 2.5 percent of the labeled weight.
Changes amount of time video recordings documenting sampling shall be kept from 180 days to 90 days.
Clarifies that once a batch passes testing, it may be transported to one or more licensed retailers, licensed distributors, or licensed microbusinesses.
Clarifies that licensed distributors may conduct quality-assurance reviews of cannabis goods received from another distributor who has already completed the state-mandated testing.
Requires that licensed distributors have a completed sales invoice or receipt before transporting cannabis goods, only transport cannabis goods identified on the invoice or receipt, and do not alter the invoice or receipt once transport begins.
The limited-access area rules to all licensees, not just retailers.
Distributor Required Testing – Transition
Special Considerations for Microbusinesses
Reiterates that all activities performed by a licensee are to occur on the same licensed premises.
Clarifies that microbusiness licensees are responsible for adhering to the rules and regulations applicable to the license type suitable for the activities of the licensee.
Clarifies that a suspension or revocation of a microbusiness licensee shall affect all commercial cannabis activities
Prior to applying for a license, new users must register for an account on the online licensing system. Important Note about Annual Cannabis Cultivation Licenses: The Department will begin review of the annual license application once you submit the Live Scan fingerprints for each person who meets the definition of “owner,” as described in the emergency regulations.
Temporary licenses are valid for 120 days, with the possibility of extensions, if warranted. They will only be issued to applicants with a valid license, permit, or other authorization from their local jurisdiction.
CDTFA Cannabis Tax Discussion Paper 7 20 2018 CDTFA Cannabis Tax Discussion Paper 7 20 2018 Per your request for electronic copies of California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Business Taxes Committee material, here is a link to our website for the Discussion Paper regarding proposed rulemaking with respect to the Cannabis Taxes Regulations: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/CannabisDPweb072018.pdf. … Continue reading “CDTFA Cannabis Tax Discussion Paper 7 20 2018”
CDTFA Cannabis Tax Discussion Paper 7 20 2018 CDTFA Cannabis Tax Discussion Paper 7 20 2018 Per your request for electronic copies of California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Business Taxes Committee material, here is a link to our website for the Discussion Paper regarding proposed rulemaking with respect to the Cannabis Taxes Regulations: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/CannabisDPweb072018.pdf. … Continue reading "CDTFA Cannabis Tax Discussion Paper 7 20 2018"
Elmer Cannabis Fudd – Dope CPA ??? – We spoke to a 24-year-old Cannabis Marketing Expert over the weekend. I am still in awe of her brilliance and embarrassed…she called me a “nerd”, “tax geek” and “your grandpa’s CPA”. Essentially said that everything I learned over the past thirty-seven years worthless. She said “no one cares about where you went to school, or that you were a Big 4 firm Tax Partner. What matters today is “buzz words”, flash and how many cool apps you use in your practice. She says, “you can’t imagine the damage you did to yourself by not becoming a Xero Ambassador or a Tax Super Ninja Guru”. Then she got me, with a pitch I couldn’t resist. Since she is so smart and none of you would ever think of this, here is what we are going to do.
I am going to change my legal name to “Elmer Cannabis Fudd“…any name that has “cannabis”, cannabiz, or 710 in it just SCREAMS expertise.
We are going to sign up to become “Dope CPA’s“…plain old CPA doesn’t mean much, sort of like Clown Accounting.
We are going to stop producing three thousand word articles since no one wants to read that much of this boring stuff.
Next, we are moving our headquarters to northern Idaho, about 60 miles east of Spokane, the WA…that way we will bee a major force in serving the Idaho adult-use cannabis market. We might as well open 77 virtual offices in our own minds as well
Elmer Cannabis Fudd – Dope CPA ???
Has the dripping sarcasm caught anyone yet? If you know me well it was obvious with the first line of this article. We are fed up, just sick and tired of the stream of gibberish, prattle, and blather that is flowing forth from many of our colleagues that serve the cannabis industry. It reminds me of the mix of effluent that spewed out of my dog’s backside after he ingested self-lighting charcoal briquets as a puppy and I gave him an enema mixed with seltzer to clean him out. [Note: If you insist on producing this kind of garbage, at least read Post Stupid Stuff – Make Sure Its Yours so you don’t get trapped by a plagiarism checker.]
Let’s get more specific…how many articles have you read on IRC Sec 280E that mention “Cost of Goods Sold” or the CHAMPS case and don’t say much of anything else. Well here is what we have said about IRC Sec. 280E in the past three months:
Do you detect a difference between us and Cleatus Smelly EA, the Dope CPA, the Idaho Cannabis CPA and every other master of “cannabiz” and “buzz words”? Yea I know we seem kind of arrogant and really abrasive…well folks twenty years in transactional practice in New York will that to you.
As a takeaway, we are going to bring back a really old and kind of amateurish piece of Photoshop I did…after a client describes me to a prospective client as an “Israel Defense Forces D9 Armored Bulldozer with the reverse gear removed…look out Cletus…
Cannabis Biz Funding For Dummies is our revenge on the sleaze bag venture capitalists that have descended on the cannabis industry. They range in sophistication from the “pushers” of prefabricated business plan templates [which all seem to use a $1,800/lb assumption for the price of flower] to the self-aggrandizement experts that offer “turnkey operations” in California that don’t even know that state Cannabis licenses are non-transferrable.
The first rule we always explain to founders that are seeking to create a venture-funded entity that asks why they need a CPA, we tell them “to prevent you from being killed off by payroll taxes, business permits and a host of other little items before their “next greatest idea” is discovered by the market. We are talking about straightforward business principles.
Our suggested steps down the path are:
Do your research and use resources which are available for free on the internet [more on this in a bit].
Build it yourselves rather than investing $$$ in someone else’s leftovers
Places to Start
Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you’re getting started. They are a legend in the venture start-up space, and the resources they offer are staggering. Let’s start with their Resources page. The first items we find there are:
YC Essentials. – What we at YC consider the most critical, most transformative advice for startups.
There are enough reading and information there to keep the founders of a startup busy for a month. Then when you think you are ready to go hunting for funding they have:
Which should get founders that are willing to work hard, read and then put their thoughts together and discuss with the CPA and attorney that should be brought in at the start. The result should be the genesis of a focused team that can get a startup business well down the path to pitching investors which ideas and a deck of their creation. We guaranty it will beat the piss out of the templated business plans that are sold to start-ups by the “Merchants of Slime”.
Humboldt Marten Review illustrates an example of the complexity and delicate balance that the legal cannabis industry faces with the environment in northern California. This status review report contains the most current information available on the Humboldt marten (Martes caurina humboldtensis) and serves as the basis for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (Department) recommendation to the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) on whether to list the species as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. The Environmental Protection Information Center and the Center for Biological Diversity, as joint petitioners, submitted a “Petition to List the Humboldt Marten (Martes caurina humboldtensis) as an Endangered Species under the California Endangered Species Act” (Petition) to the Commission on June 8, 2015. At its scheduled public meeting on February 11, 2016, the Commission considered the Petition and based in part on the Department’s petition evaluation and recommendation found that sufficient information existed to indicate the petitioned action may be warranted and accepted the Petition for consideration.
Upon publication of the Commission’s notice of its findings, the Humboldt marten has designated a candidate species on February 26, 2016. Humboldt martens are currently designated a California Species of Special Concern, a non‐regulatory designation intended to focus attention on animals at conservation risk, stimulate research on poorly known species, and achieve conservation and recovery of these animals before they meet criteria for listing as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA; Fish & G. Code, § 2050 et seq.). Additionally, Humboldt martens throughout their range in California and Oregon are currently under review for listing as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Species Description, Biology, and Ecology ‐ Martens have yellowish to dark brown fur with a contrasting lighter chest patch, the long, sleek body from typical of members of the mustelid (weasel) family, a relatively long bushy tail, and typically weigh 0.4‐1.25 kg (0.88‐2.76 lbs.).
Humboldt martens in California have subtle physiological differences from Sierra martens (M. caurina sierra) which also occur in California. Within California, Humboldt martens historically occupied near‐coastal forests from Sonoma County north to the Oregon border; however, the current distribution within the state is limited to two small areas of Del Norte, northern Humboldt, and western Siskiyou counties, a small fraction of the historical range. Humboldt martens breed once per year and females typically first give birth at two years of age and reach peak productivity from three to five years of age, although not all females attempt to breed each year. Kits are born in natal dens where they remain completely dependent on the mother for seven to eight weeks, after which the mother typically moves them to one or a series of maternal dens until the kits disperse, typically in late summer.
Dispersal distances of Humboldt martens are largely unknown but likely similar to distances of other North American martens, which typically average less than 15 km (9.3 mi.). Available information suggests that home ranges of Humboldt martens are similar to Sierra marten home range sizes in California, 70 – 733 ha (173 – 1,811 ac.). In California, Humboldt martens subsist on a diet composed primarily of small mammals (squirrels, chipmunks, and voles) and birds, and to lesser degree reptiles, fruits, and insects. Known predators of martens in North America include bobcats, coyotes, foxes, fishers, and great‐horned owls, with bobcats being the primary predator of Humboldt martens in California.
Humboldt martens in California are associated with two distinct habitat types: late‐successional coastal redwood, Douglas‐fir, and mixed conifer forests with dense mature shrub layers; and serpentine habitats with variable tree cover, dense shrub cover, and rock piles and outcrops. Consistent among the two habitat types is the requirement for structures for denning, resting, and escape cover. In late-successional forests, structures used include tree cavities, defects, snags, and logs; while in serpentine habitats rock piles and outcrops are commonly used in addition to tree structures. Humboldt martens also rely on extensive stands of dense shrub cover in both habitat types.
Status and Trends ‐ There are no historical Humboldt marten population estimates available, but anecdotal evidence from early naturalists and trapping records suggest the species was far more common and widespread in the early 20th century than they are today. The California population is currently estimated to number fewer than 200 individuals. It appears the Oregon population also numbers fewer than a few hundred individuals and there is uncertainty about the degree to which animals in Oregon and California interact and exchange genes. Humboldt martens historically ranged from the coastal forests of northwestern Sonoma County north to Oregon’s Curry County within the narrow humid coastal zone (Figure 1).
The historical described range was roughly 22,000 km2 (8,500 mi2 ). By the 1940s, a significant decline in Humboldt marten trapping returns was noted and a retraction of the southern end of the range appears to have occurred. In California, over the last 25 years Humboldt martens have only been detected in Del Norte, northern Humboldt, and extreme western Siskiyou Counties; suggesting a range reduction greater than 93% (Figure 2). Threats ‐ The Department has identified multiple potential threats to the long‐term persistence of the California Humboldt marten population. Some of these threats are largely the result of historical practices while others are ongoing.
Ongoing threats include habitat loss from timber harvesting, wildfires, urbanization, cannabis cultivation; elevated predation rates; exposure to toxicants and diseases; climate change; and risks inherent to small populations. Historical accounts suggest that trapping pressure on Humboldt martens in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was intense, and declines in the population were noted by the early 1900s. Marten harvest continued essentially unchecked until 1946 when the Commission instituted the first Humboldt marten trapping closure. Historical trapping, coupled with habitat loss, was likely the cause of the dramatic reduction in the marten’s California range.
Today, trapping of Humboldt martens is prohibited in California and no longer poses a significant threat to the population. In addition, the probability of unintended bycatch is extremely low due to current trapping regulations and the low number of active trappers within the extant range. Humboldt marten populations have been negatively impacted by historical and ongoing habitat degradation and loss from timber harvesting and other silvicultural treatments of older forests, wildfires and associated salvage logging, development of coastal forests for human settlement, as well as the clearing of forests for the cultivation of cannabis.
Forest conditions in the range of the Humboldt marten today have largely been shaped by a legacy of over 100 years of logging and timber management which has reduced the area of old growth conifer forest in the Pacific Northwest by an estimated 72% since European settlement. In recent decades the logging of old growth forest stands on private and public lands has dramatically slowed from peaks in the second half of the 20th century due to more restrictive regulations and market conditions. However, it will likely take decades for the forest stands degraded and fragmented from historical logging to recover the dense shrub cover, and centuries to recruit the large tree structures needed to restore high-quality Humboldt marten habitat conditions.
Humboldt marten habitat suitability may be reduced under commonly used timber harvest methods through reduction of overstory canopy cover and the loss of dense shrub cover. Shrub layers can be destroyed or degraded through post‐harvest stand management treatments such as burning, mechanical clearing, herbicide application, and through competitive exclusion by densely planted conifers in plantations which shade out understory shrubs. Shrub cover has been found to be more patchily distributed in thinned stands than in old-growth stands on federal forest lands, and decades are required to restore dense shrub layers following harvests. Wildfires and the associated salvage logging of damaged trees can threaten the already small Humboldt marten population by reducing and fragmenting the remaining habitat.
On federal lands in north coastal California, there was a net 5.6% loss of old forest habitat over the period of 1993‐2012, primarily attributed to wildfires, despite gains from forest succession. Connectivity between old forest stands was found to have decreased over the same period, mainly due to fragmentation caused by wildfires. Large fires in southwest Oregon (the 2002 Biscuit Complex Fire and 2017 Chetco Bar Fire) have likely isolated the California – Oregon border Humboldt marten population from the two extant Oregon population areas (Figure 7). Additionally, vegetation management activities designed to reduce the risk of wildland fire by removing shrubs, reducing canopy cover, and removing snags and logs can degrade marten habitat and contribute to habitat fragmentation. Humboldt marten researchers and land managers consider wildland fire a serious threat to the extant population in California, estimating that a single large fire could eliminate 31% to 70% of the currently occupied habitat.
Humboldt Marten Review
The negative impacts of wildland fires on marten habitat vary with the intensity of the burn and include the removal of large tree structures and dense shrub layers as well as the fragmentation of habitat. The number of fires, mean fire size and annual area burned in northwestern California were all found to have increased over the century from 1908 – 2008, suggesting the threat to Humboldt martens from wildland fires is increasing. Habitat loss and degradation from human settlement and residential development rapidly increased in the 1850s, and several portions of the historical range have been converted from forests to urban areas, primarily in and around Crescent City, Humboldt Bay, Fortuna, Fort Bragg, and Willits; and much of the historical range south of Del Norte County has been parceled and occupied by very low-density housing.
However, the core population areas currently occupied by Humboldt martens in California are almost entirely unoccupied by humans, with the exception of some areas adjacent to the Klamath River on Yurok Tribal lands. While further human development of the historical range will likely continue into the future, a modeled analysis of future land conversions under several human population growth scenarios found the probability of significant conversions to urban and agricultural uses in the northwest California coast region to be very low for the remainder of this century.
Large‐scale marijuana cultivation in remote forests throughout California has increased since the mid‐ 1990s, coinciding with the passage of California laws legalizing certain uses of cannabis. Cultivation can impact Humboldt martens through the clearing and fragmentation of forests and the application of pesticides, including highly toxic anticoagulant rodenticides. Humboldt and Del Norte counties are known centers of legal and illegal cannabis cultivation in California due to the remote and rugged nature of the land and abundant water sources, although to date a relatively small percentage of the land area has been impacted by these practices. The extent to which land clearing for legal and illegal cannabis cultivation will contribute to future Humboldt marten habitat loss and degradation is unknown.