Check Out Wake – Bake Daily Site – if you are anything like us, and spend your days busting your ass working on, and living with the California commercial cannabis industry at some point you start to take yourself way too seriously. That’s exactly how we feel about Mr. Sean Hocking, the publisher of wakeandbakedaily.com. Our sense is that this tidbit of wisdom from stonerjesus.net captures the consequences of doing that.
We will be adding their RSS Feed to our front page.
We welcome our regular contributor Jordan Zoot to Waked & Baked Daily. Jordan Lives In Oakland and has been involved in CA’s regulated cannabis market for many years. ” Yo Smoked Good Shit Literally – say hello to Escherichia coli [“E coli”]. Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most varieties of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few particularly nasty strains, such as E. coliO157:H7, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. AND IT MAY BE IN YOUR STASH.”
On 30 August, the Shah Alam High Court sentenced Muhammad Lukman to death by hanging, after he was convicted of possessing, processing, and distributing cannabis oil. Three liters of cannabis oil and 279 grams of compressed cannabis were found in his home, according to local sources.
Lukman, a 29-year-old father of one, provided cannabis oil to patients who were suffering from ailments that were difficult to treat with legal medicines. Lukman did not profit from this and would provide cannabis oil for free to patients who could not afford it. Despite the lack of financial gain from his endeavor, his offenses fall under section 39B of Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. This stipulates that “Any person who [traffics an illegal drug] shall be guilty of an offense against this Act and shall be punished on conviction with death”.
Lukman’s defense team called upon patients who had successfully used his cannabis oil to treat their illnesses and emphasized that he produced and provided the medicine on a non-profit basis for their wellbeing. The prosecution argued that, regardless of intent or revenue, Lukman produced and distributed an illegal drug that is not recognized for its medical uses by the Ministry of Health or any accredited Malaysian physician. This lack of recognition, the judge concluded, invalidated Lukman’s defense.
Although it has not been approved in Malaysia, cannabis oil is used to medically treat a range of ailments among adults and children in Canada, many US states, and several European countries.
Despite Lukman’s lawyers’ plea for a reduced sentence, his mitigation was rejected and he was sentenced to death by hanging. Lukman will appeal his sentence at the Court of Appeal.
“This is not the fault of the judge, he only performed his task in accordance with the written law,” Lukman said. “It’s clear that he was unaware of the truth [of medical cannabis]. I believe this is not the final verdict. If it is, Malaysia laws are cruel.”
Lukman’s case is not unique in Malaysia. A former military captain, Amiruddin Nadarajan Abdullah, is currently on trial for providing medical cannabis products to as many as 800 patients, Free Malaysia Today reports. Former patients, including young children and grandparents, are among those who have come to court to show their support for Abdullah – known among his patients at Dr. Ganja. If convicted, Abdullah also faces the death sentence.
Zoot Gets Zoot Suited …Well…this is possibly the first time I was ever happy to lose a bet to a client. In this case, one of our new cannabis industry clients near Los Angeles. The consequence of losing the bet is the client get to redo part of my wardrobe. What am I getting…ugh…think Siegals in LA…yep…ZOOT SUITS [I am petrified of what my dumpy ass is going to look like, but fair is fair. Just to provide plenty of advance warning…here is a preview of his selections for me…going to be in San Francisco end of August so we need to set a date with the tailor. Well enough bullshitting…here goes.
First suit..Navy Chalk Stripe –
This one is by far my favorite of the bunch. I do need to do something about shoes. I don’t think topsiders will cut it. I went and looked to replace my favorite shoes from thirty years ago which were Ferragamo Wing tips…found the same shoes with a $900 price tag so that isn’t happening, but they are just beautiful.
The second suit selection is pure torture…though I just might get used to it…Apple Green…grab your sunglasses. I guess if I am going to look like a horse’s ass…it might as well be an Apple Green horse’s ass.
Well…this it cool…a real Stetson Beaver Fur Fedora.
I wonder what it is going to look with a Fedora and sweatpants…not that I would think twice about it.
The final suit is an El Pachuco…I am just about at a loss for words.
Zoot Gets Zoot Suited
Hopefully, every single one of you will have mercy and observe the “you don’t talk about how fat someone is when you are in the sauna rule”.
[A bit of history] It was June 1943 when the riots broke out. For over a week, white U.S. soldiers and sailors traversed Los Angeles beating up allegedly “unpatriotic” Mexican-American men, identifiable by their conspicuously voluminous attire. It was, as the historian Kathy Peiss writes in Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style, “perhaps the first time in American history that fashion was believed to be the cause of widespread civil unrest.”
Starting this month, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will feature an authentic example of one of these catalyzing ensembles as part of a new exhibition, “Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015.” Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/brief-history-zoot-suit-180958507/#6emTzk8v0ACYLFfD.99
With its super-sized shoulder pads, sprawling lapels and peg leg pants, the zoot suit grew out of the “drape” suits popular in Harlem dance halls in the mid-1930s. The flowing trousers were tapered at the ankles to prevent jitterbugging couples from getting tripped up while they twirled. By the ’40s, the suits were worn by minority men in working-class neighborhoods throughout the country. Though the zoot suit would be donned by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, it was “not a costume or uniform from the world of entertainment,” the Chicago big-band trumpeter and clothier Harold Fox once said. “It came right off the street and out of the ghetto.’’
Zoot Gets Zoot Suited
Fox was one among many, from Chicago to Harlem to Memphis, who took credit for inventing the zoot suit—the term came out of African-American slang—but it was actually unbranded and illicit: There was no one designer associated with the look, no department store where you could buy one. These were ad hoc outfits, regular suits bought two sizes too large and then creatively tailored to dandyish effect.
The best part for last…the second part of the bet is I get photographed in all of this stuff an have to update this post with your truly as the model.
Post Stupid Stuff – Make Sure Its Yours…when I read a blog there are two things that I completely fail to understand…well let’s make that three things.
Anyone that is considering writing a blog, or even sending a letter to a newspaper should ask themselves a very simple question. Am I capable of adding an original thought to a discussion, expressing a view, opinion or theory that articulates a thought or concept that the came up with on their own? It is no different than watching political discourse where one person is repeating what they heard on CNN, and the person is regurgitating FOX. If that is what you want, at least the television has an off switch.
2. If you are going to quote from a court opinion or other published source, observe proper rules for attribution, and quotations there are readily available resources for reference. The structured rules [Bluebook] for citations to statute, regulations, administrative and judicial authority are the bane of just about every first-year law and graduate tax students. There are numerous references for a citation to tax research As an absolute statement while hyperlinking has not entirely replaced the traditional forms of attribution and citation to authority, there is absolutely no excuse NOT to reference source material.
When it is done properly, the references provide readers that wish to delve deeper into a topic the jumping off points. Further, the reference to authority is an absolutely critical element in establishing the provenance of original research and scholarly work.
3. No matter what else you decide to undertake, do not, and lets all repeat DO NOT use the work of another person, copyrighted or not, and misrepresent, whether by an overt act of commission or omission as your own. An act of plagiarism is almost certain to destroy the careers of numerous individuals particularly journalists, attorneys, CPA’s and financial professionals.
We could expound on these three rules ad nauseum. Suffice it to say, for those of us that that use reference materials as part of our professions on a daily basis, content that adheres to these rules is a pleasure, and content that doesn’t is best reserved for clean up after one has completed the process of expelling feces from their anus [Note: that is my effort at practicing restraint with respect to the use of language for which I am admonished on a regular basis.
Finally, any high school or college student can tell you about the supernatural powers that modern plagiarism checking software has.
An excellent example of software for online publishers such as writers & journalists, unique content is very important. Your main challenge is producing or obtaining original content. Whether you’re a blog owner or a professional content writer, Plagiarism Checker X can help you avoid plagiarism charges.
YOU DON’T WANT TO BE THIS PERSON
Post Stupid Stuff – Make Sure Its Yours
 The advent of the internet and hyperlinking has caused amazing advances the ability to reference published works. What used to require hours to go trek to a reference library to look up can now be accomplished either with a mouse click or at worst, a “Google search” A sample of some of the of the best practices for attribution and quotation are:
Creative Commons [“CC”] – Best Practices for Attribution – You can use CC-licensed materials as long as you follow the license conditions. One condition of all CC licenses is attribution. Here are some good (and not so good) examples of attribution. Note: If you want to learn how to mark your own material with a CC license go here.
Publishing Guidelines – Third-Party Content – The Washington Post – “We should assume that our audience will hold us accountable for third-party content on washingtonpost.com, whether it is embedded, copied or simply paraphrased. So, follow common-sense rules: Don’t embed a video without having watched the entire clip. Know exactly what a block of foreign-language text says before excerpting it. Look at the entire Web page you link to before posting a link to ensure that other headlines and posts, side modules or ads are appropriate.”
Under the “fair use” defense, another author may make limited use of the original author’s work without asking permission. Pursuant to 17 U.S. Code § 107, certain uses of copyrighted material “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”
As a matter of policy, fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner’s exclusive rights. If you write or publish, you need a basic understanding of what does and does not constitute fair use.”
Post Stupid Stuff – Make Sure Its Yours
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
“A joint undertaking of the Virginia tax review (University of Virginia School of Law), Tax law review (New York University School of Law), and the American Bar Association Section of Taxation” (introduction)
Post Stupid Stuff – Make Sure Its Yours
Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgment. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition.
“According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to “plagiarize” means
to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
to commit literary theft
to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.” Source – Plagerism.org
STATES Act Introduced – Senate introduced in US Senate on June 7, 2018.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.
Warren and Gardner, who both represent states with legal recreational pot, introduced the legislation, known as Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, as a response to the Trump administration’s hard-line stance against the drug.
The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to include a framework that says it no longer applies to those following state, territory or tribal laws “relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of [marijuana].”
“It’s time to reform American’s outdated marijuana policies,” Warren tweeted with a video of her and Gardner speaking at a press conference announcing the measure.
The operative provision in the law states:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this title as applied to marihuana, other than the provisions described in subsection (c) and other than as provided in subsection (d), shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State law relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.
Warren and Gardner had announced a partnership in April in an attempt to hold President Trump to his word about respecting states rights.
Warren reportedly said the goal of the legislation is to “ensure that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders.”
Warren and Gardner’s proposed legislation comes in the face of increasing opposition toward marijuana from the White House.
In May 2017, he sent a letter to congressional leaders asking that they eliminate an amendment that prohibits the Justice Department from using federal money to prevent states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in another 29.
aBIZ Cannabis Platform is laid out for everyone to get a sense of what it takes to support the website.
Provide a marketing platform for the practice which the blog is part of.
Provide a “go to” research tool which organized the statute, regulations and administrative documents from regulatory agencies so that it becomes the first place to go if you need to perform research on an issue.
Provide a place to serve the public and clients with knowledge i digestible format. That’s why I produced > 120 page of FAQ’s. There is also a client portal built into the website where clients can securely share documents with us, and we have the ability to “embed” documents in web pages such as what I did with the 280E article.
Provide a platform where clients can book appointments, open a ticket for us to respond to an issue, and do most of the simple business with our practice right from the website.
Advertising – the platforms should be easy to recognize
aBIZ Cannabis Platform
Local Digital Media – See Moz Report Attached
Google AdWords – Paid Search
Search Engine Optimization [“SEO”] Tools we use for the website
ahrefs.com– is a well-known toolset for backlinks and SEO analysis. At the moment we stand out from the herd of other similar services by the largest base of Live links, huge Index and the best Speed of index updates. We constantly improve all our algorithms to provide our customers with freshest and most actual backlinks … $179/month
moz.com – is a software as a service (SaaS) company based in Seattle, Washington, USA that sells inbound marketing and marketing analytics software subscriptions. It was founded by Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig in 2004 as a consulting firm and shifted to SEO software development in 2008. $149/month
screamingfrog.com – is a website crawler, that allows you to crawl websites’ URLs and fetch key onsite elements to analyze onsite SEO. Download for free, or purchase a license for additional advanced features. $208/quarter
wpengine.com – is a leading web host in the managed WordPress host category. … The next step should be to go with a WordPress-exclusive hosting company or a Managed WordPress Host. That means a company that specializes only in WordPress, so they’ve built their technology from the ground up for performance and security. $99/month
cloudflare.com – s a U.S. company that provides a content delivery network, DDoS mitigation, Internet security services and distributed domain name server services, sitting between the visitor and the Cloudflare user’s hosting provider, acting as a reverse proxy for websites. $88/month
maxcdn.com. – is one of the largest Content Delivery Network provider. They accelerate your site and decrease the server load. $99/month + $39/month
gtmetrix.com – is one of the tools that we have found ourselves using more and more to get detailed reports about our site’s performance. It is a free tool that analyzes your page’s speed performance using Google Page Speed and YSlow. $15/month
wptangerine.com – is a WordPress support service. They help people rock WordPress. … They offer unlimited tasks submission plans with which users can pay a monthly fee and then submit unlimited amounts of WordPress tasks be performed. $247/month
jetpack.com – is the ultimate toolkit for WordPress. It gives you everything you need to design, secure, and grow your site in one bundle. With Jetpack, you can: Fully customize your site with free themes, image tools, and rich content $29/month
envato.com . – is a collection of themed marketplaces, where creatives sell digital assets to help bring your ideas to life. Buy anything from Photoshop actions and video footage to advanced WordPress themes and plugins. –$$ varies
alexa.com – is Information. Insight. Advantage. Information is power – if you have the right tools. Alexa’ssuite of intuitive analytics products transforms data into meaningful insights that lead to competitive advantage for your company. $19.95/month
sookasa.com – is the only all-in-one enterprise CASB and SaaS security provider to audit activity, protect data end-to-end, and enforce policies on Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Slack. $19.95/month
While it’s legal in Colorado to use marijuana recreationally, there are limits to the amount you can possess before it becomes a misdemeanor or felony. The same goes for Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, all of which have voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
Making felony possession an even more dangerous game, certain states have laws that make possession over a certain amount an automatic felony intent to distribute charge, even if you have no real intent to distribute.
Felonies, don’t just land you in jail – they also result in a significant loss of civil rights. With a felony on your record, you may no longer have the right to own a gun, the right to vote, the right to hold political office, the right to serve as a police officer, and more. In addition, many employers refuse to hire convicted felons, making it difficult to find work following a judgment.
How about a map of where medical cannabis is legal and other interesting tidbits from geography.
The states with the most draconian laws are Arizona and Oklahoma.
These states don’t play around. If you’re caught with marijuana here, even a relatively low amount on your first offense will doom you.
If you’re living in the deserts of Arizona, it’s particularly unwise to keep marijuana around. Arizona is the strictest state in America in terms of enforcing marijuana possession. In fact, it’s the only state in the union where any amount of marijuana will draw a guaranteed felony charge on the first offense.
Florida’s medical marijuana ballot initiative failed in the 2014 midterms – not a shocker considering it’s one of the top five most unforgiving states to first-time offenders caught with marijuana. Carrying more than 0.7 ounces will earn a felony in the Sunshine State.
The only state rivaling Arizona’s strictness on a first offense is Oklahoma. Any amount of marijuana will earn you one year in jail, and the state can charge you with a felony or misdemeanor.
California Legislature New Bills being produced at a rapid pace. We would have preferred to respond to the Canna Law Blog, but it continues to be unclear if they are actively moderating their blog comments. Since it appears that the standard for getting comments approved by moderation on the Canna Law Blog is ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS we are going to help them out by publishing a shadow when we feel the necessity to get our message out. We truly look forward to a day when that isn’t necessary. We are going to engage our own blog system to see if we can get everyone engaged.
They published: We responded with:
The bottom line is that the cannabis regulatory scheme in California is out of control. Let’s get very specific..we reviewed or filed > six dozen 1Q 2018 Cannabis Excise [“CET”] and Sales taxes two weeks ago. Some of the entities were multi-million dollar businesses. CDTFA estimates that less than $40 million was collected which is around twenty-five percent of what was expected.
We aren’t geniuses, but we are willing to bet why the take was so low. The CET quarterly return required eight blanks be filled in. The combination of Cannabis Excise, Cultivation and Sales Taxes require roughly 110 distinct types of information be collected. There are complex requirements for commercial invoices, transportation manifests, receipts and record keeping. The record keeping for CDTFA purposes, federal income tax purposes, and BCC regulatory purposes are different, even with respect to how long the records must be kept.
CDTFA, the IRS, and FTB have different Power of Attorney forms to appoint a representative. BCC, CDFA Cal Cannabis, and CDPH MCSB DON’T HAVE FORMS TO APPOINT A REPRESENTATIVE because they don’t believe that it is possible to do so. The lack of an ability for a California cannabis licensee to appoint a representative to deal with regulatory compliance is very likely a violation of the due process requirements of the 14A to the US Constitution.
This is the response we got from CDPH when we asked the question about how a licensee would get a representative appointed.
Please apprise us with respect to what your current procedures are for representation of individuals or business entities by attorneys and certified public accountants [let’s limit the discussion to those licensed to practice in California]. The answer we received from CDPH – Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch is as follows: I can address the procedures and future plans for the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. I’ll let the Bureau and CDFA weigh in with responses from their particular offices.
The California Business and Professions Code, in section 26001(c), defines a cannabis license “applicant” as “an owner applying for a state license pursuant to this division.” If the member of your firm who is completing the application for the business is considered and disclosed as an owner, they may complete the application on behalf of the business. Because of this definition in state law, I do not anticipate any immediate changes to our system to allow a representative (non-owner) to complete the application.
Some may not understand the implications of the response, however, the idea that an applicant or a business is precluded from representation by a CPA or attorney is ABSURD. I can’t get fingerprinted for an owner, but we should be able to represent a business before a regulatory agency.
WE REALIZE THAT THE THREAD IS A LISTING OF PENDING LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS. However, DO WE AS CPA’s AND ATTORNEYS OWE THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY IN CALIFORNIA AN EXPLANATION OF THE LAWS ON THE BOOKS BEFORE THEY ENACT MORE??
We have a proposal to break the logjam and improve cooperation and communication amongst attorneys, CPA’s and EA’s serving the cannabis industry in California and you can read about it here.
CPAs who wish to provide services to clients in the marijuana industry will encounter many gray areas. However, in addition to the numerous considerations discussed thus far, there are a few more steps CPAs can take to mitigate the risks associated with taking on a client in this industry.
A CPA should always have an engagement letter with his or her client that explains what services are to be provided, what services will not be provided, and how much those services will cost.
The CPA should require each of the principals in the business to sign a representation letter stating that they understand the requirements of state law related to cannabis businesses and that they intend to fully comply with those requirements to the best of their ability at all times.
CPAs should also document all work and communication with a client, even if that communication takes place in an informal setting.
A CPA should seek out advice from colleagues that have clients in the marijuana industry to determine how they are trying to best mitigate risk.
CPA Services Cannabis Industry
CPA Services Cannabis Industry – Businesses operating in the marijuana industry are seeking both assurance and non-assurance attest services, including audits, reviews, and agreed upon procedures engagements.
CPAs wishing to provide services to these businesses must first address the issue of competency. Does the CPA have enough knowledge of the industry to plan an engagement properly? A CPA should fully understand the entity, including the legal and regulatory environment of the industry, in order to assess the risk of material misstatement — a challenge when that environment is ever-changing and unclear. In planning an audit and determining the risks of material misstatements, a CPA should consider the numerous risks associated with businesses in this industry.
The key point for tax professionals working with clients in the marijuana industry is due diligence. Because of the lack of clear guidance, CPAs should be conscientious in reviewing all available information related to standards for tax return reporting, confidentiality of client information, conflicts of interest, due diligence, knowledge of client’s error, contingent fees, and written tax advice.
If you are a licensed California CPA that has questions, we are always willing to offer our thoughts. Please note that due to our workload, this offer is for California CPA’s only, strictly enforced.
aBIZinaBOX CCDS Roadmap – 2018 is an overview of our plans to build out our platform to support the commercial cannabis industry in California, our CPA firm on abizinabox.com and a number of client platforms. The overall introduction to the platform entitled aBIZinaBOX WordPress Platform Workflows.
IRC Sec. 280E article submitted to major scholarly taxation journals and a
salable IRC Sec. 280E planning and tax compliance support product and building a template for 280E allocations, choice of entity and potentially IRC Sec. 199A
Cannabis Compliance Document Suite [“CCDS”] – which will provide a multi-tenanted platform which will permit the generation of commercial invoices and transportation manifests for California commercial cannabis businesses. A more detailed description of the platform can be found
California Cannabis Chek – is the platform product that would address cash controls, and hopefully, provide a basis to get the banking community comfortable with cannabis businesses. You can see more here.
Cannabis Compliance AI BOT – is the concept that I mentioned briefly mentioned which would involve the creation of a BOT that would have the FAQ from the aBIZinaBOX Cannabis Practice Group website with continued maintenance and update as either a pay per question or monthly subscription. The AI engine is going to be the Google Tensorflow AI Engine.
CDTFA Compliance Platform– is the platform/product that that would provide tax compliance services for Cultivation, Cannabis Excise and Sales tax returns starting with several levels of fees for return preparation dependent on answers to the due diligence instrument that we are working on to take an inventory of the accounting, tax and regulatory processes that a business has in place.
Development of Xero-Fishbowl integration, adding METRC bridge for Extractor Accounting and Tax compliance platform.
Ala Carte Consulting based upon any of what would get “fed” to use the five “products identified above”.
Tax Controversy – Audit Defense which is would assist cannabis industry businesses being examined by the IRS, FTB or CDTFA for taxes and BCC, CDPH or CDFA for California cannabis industry regulatory compliance.
Alpha Stage – There are a couple dozen additional extensions of the platform in an alpha stage we will expand up shortly.