Back Office Bungle – Handling the afterthought of cannabis

August 26, 2022 | 10:30 am | Room 1 | Business / Legal, Finance

Cannabis businesses, despite the obvious regulatory and financial hurdles, should be run in the same manner as any other business. The CEO of Coca-Cola doesn’t make business decisions without knowing the opportunities, risks, and rewards. Cannabis businesses should strive to operate in the same way. Whether a cannabis business is in the startup phase or is already operating at full capacity, there are certain financial, HR, and IT issues which must be addressed to run a successful and valuable business. A cannabis enterprise may sometimes feel as though they are operating without clear guidance for many back-office aspects of their business, but there are best practices they should strive for. The issues businesses run into range from maintaining proper payroll reporting and HR support, to sustaining actionable financials which inform business decision making and assist in cash flow forecasting, to sustaining adept IT security systems to both be compliant with state regulations, and stand up to a constant torrent of cyber attacks. While there are many avenues business owners can take to manage the less “sexy” side of cannabis, identifying soft spots and formulating a plan to address weaknesses is important. Cutting corners and maintaining inadequate IT, HR, and accounting may save time and money in the short term, but in the long term will result in a business with potential regulatory, legal, and tax issues, as well as a business whose value will suffer in the eyes of a prospective buyer.

John Warner, Principal, Dark Horse CPA

John is an experienced Principal with a demonstrated history of solving the tax and accounting issues facing business clients. He is skilled in tax planning and compliance, accounting, and partnership taxation. He specializes working with businesses in the cannabis and craft beverage industries. John received his MAcc focused in Taxation from Truman State University.