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Drug Crimes to Cash Crimes

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January 21, 2019

Update for July 22, 2019

From Lawrence Cagigal, our SW Territory Sales Manager...

I am fortunate enough to work for a firm that invests in all of us. Just about the entire GreenGrowth team met at our new world wide headquarters in a 'lovely’ part of downtown LA.

While touring our 45,000 sq ft facility, with numerous clients operating under a license we provided for them, we had some great discussions. So great, that we decided one of our favs will be this weeks topic: proliferation of states with MMJ has increased the profile of CPA’s.

It has always been, and always will be, that the lawyers receive all the limelight (checks notes….from Matlock to Perry Mason, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Bull, Boston Legal, LA Law, Suits, the list is endless).

Do you know any good CPA shows? Me neither.

Lawyers get all the good jokes too. Here is the only CPA joke I’ve ever heard: What do CPA’s do use for birth control? Their personalities. I mean damn, man.

Since cannabis is currently legal in 33 states, staying in business, it isn’t just ALL about the drugs anymore, it is about the financial compliance.

Cash crimes are the new drug crimes that can get you…instead of Better call Saul, it’s more Better Call a CPA that knows what they are doing that isn’t learning on your dime.

Cheers to the rise of the CPA’s, nerds unite baby! It is our time to get some rockstar treatment for going beyond just your managing books; but keeping you in business, keeping you compliant and further, partnering with you to help improve your business.

Think about it. When “cannabis was illegal” your new bff was your Lawyer. They kept you out of jail, they had the political connections, advised on strategies to also have a legit business, got you out of jail, etc.

They were your new bff because who else were you going to talk to about the biz? You couldn’t exactly tell everyone at your PTA meeting that you had 12 illegal grows around town. I might be over romanticizing the scene here, but think of our German-Irish friend, Tom Hagen, in The Godfather. A cool present for the first person that contacts me with the full movie reference .

Yes, lawyers will always have their seat at the table, but now it is the time for the bean counters to shine. The former drug crimes that would end your freedom, are now financial “issues” that could mean the collapse of your business.

For example, let’s say that you live in the reddest of red states….to the point the dirt is red, how will they stop you? How will they curtail this industry?

With financial constraints and compliance laws...that is how.

Just like when they couldn’t get Capone for gangster activities, they got him for evading taxes. And again in another Lawyer movie, Mitch McDeere collapsed his Memphis Law Firm by proving mail fraud and not gangster activities. Another present for the first person that contacts me with this movie reference.

But I digress, just because the Norman PD isn’t needlessly and repeatedly raiding a head shop anymore, does not mean there are no external threats to your business. The threat could appear in the form of your friends at the IRS.

You could do everything right and it could happen just because there are 1,673 dispensaries and 3,559 growers in Oklahoma. As previously mentioned in our blogs, it could be because of the stronger financial controls that will be in place when you try to renew your annual OMMA license.

In this industry, if they can not get your for growing, manufacturing or distributing cannabis, I would go ahead and lock down the area that they can get to you: Financially.

So don’t find an accountant that only provides order for your bills; instead search for a partner with real life experience growing and protecting the business of their cannabis clients. Find someone that you can consult with over a wide variety of issues to help grow your business and keep you compliant with all the financial regulations.

You are not in this alone! 100% of our clients have started a cannabis business, and we are operating in 12 states now.

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Update for July 15, 2019

 
 
The last few weeks we have focused on OK MMJ records and the number of entities licensed in Oklahoma.  
 
In seeing Oklahoma compared to the rest of the nation, our laws are extremely business and patient friendly, pick any metric you prefer.
 
My point for this is if you are reviewing any OK cannabis specific social media platform, whether it is Reddit, Facebook or Twitter, you would be led to believe the act opposite is true.  I would highly encourage anyone that believes OK is more harsh (business or patient) than just about any other state, to join an association.
 
In any emerging industry, to find timely and most importantly, correct information, it is customary to join a chamber of commerce or industry specific association.  Since every major Chamber of Commerce voted against 788 (I am still now sure how a business owners association voted against 5,000 other small business owners is a smart play) we are left with associations to provide legislature access and factual info.
 
If Facebook is your SOLE way to find industry information….well consider this a helpful freebie for factual information, and properly placed in context.  I / we subscribe to just about every Oklahoma Cannabis FB industry page there is, and there are some great ones out there….just not the same vehicle as an association that personally meets with the OBN, Dept of Health, has lobbyists, has two board members ON the Food Safety Board, etc.  
 
This week we will do a brief compare and contrast of OK to Missouri who also very impressively passed MMJ laws via a large voter turnout.    
 
Oklahoma 
Missouri
Patient Qualifications
No ICD 10 Code needed 
20 qualifying* conditions + 1 catch all 
You Holding?
3 oz on person, 8 oz at home
4 oz a month 
Home Grown Plants?
6 mature, 6 immature
6 Plants
Patient Fees
$100 or $20 plus fees 
$25
State allowed time to process
14 Days
30 Days
Business - Cultivation
July 1 -  3,397
60 total licenses will be granted 
Processing
905
90 total licenses will be granted
Dispensaries 
1,605
192 total , 24 per each congressional district  
Cultivation License Fee
$2,500
$10,000
Processing License Fee
$2,500
$ 6,000 + 150,00 liquid and verified
Dispensary License Fee
$2,500
$6,000
 
*Missouri has a strict list of 20 qualifying conditions, plus a MD can prescribe if there is a “chronic, debilitating or other medical condition” they feel would benefit from prescribing MMJ.   
 
The Missouri cannabis business licensing selection process goes from Aug 3 through Dec 31 2019.  As of June 21st, there have been 543 applications received…for only 338 total licensed entities.  Expectations are that there will be over 1,000 non-refundable applications submitted prior to Aug 3.  This is to be an "objective process", feel free to review the 11 page document that describes how they will score and award their licenses.  After reviewing, how confident are you that your entity would have been awarded a license based on this selection criteria? 
 
Please note, this list isn’t anti-Missouri but rather rather pro-Oklahoma for the ability to contrast somewhat similar states and to make a point.  Missouri is STILL much more business and patient friendly contrasted to the rest of the US.  Anyone see how many dispensaries there are in Arkansas?  How many approved cultivation licenses??  Anyone hear how “transparent" that process was?? 
 
So in reviewing OK and Missouri, it seems many people and organizations did  a wonderful job.  Some more than others…some were not even formed prior to 788, some were formed years before.  
 
My point is that we should be thanking these people and organizations rather than constant tearing down of the very entities and people that are the most responsible for this industry even existing in our great state.  
 
With our rules and regulations, we have so much to be thankful for compared to literally everywhere else in the country.  There is a reason why we are seeing a reverse Grapes of Wrath dealio occurring; where many are leaving Cali and relocating to OK for the much lower cost of doing business, better laws, MUCH lower taxes, much lower cost of living, and the ease of the application process.  
 
Go find an association you like that fits your niche, it should help your business grow and help keep you informed.  I can promise you it will keep you much more informed than Facebook posts marketed for their gain via fear-mongering and NOT for your education.  
 
Besides voting, the next best way to show our elected officials that they should take this industry seriously is to quantify the economic impact we are providing to the state of Oklahoma.  They know more people voted for SQ 788 than voted for Governor Stitt and they know how many millions license applications, sales and excise tax has raised.  
 
Now is the time to leverage our voting might with our total economic might (job creation, vendor job creation, benefits) then they will have to take our industry seriously….or not at their own peril.  The Economic Study will help this endeavor, please review and complete.

 

Update for July 8, 2019

From Lawrence Cagigal, our SW Territory Sales Manager...

Last week we reviewed Oklahoma’s ‘Canniversary’,  showing how far we have come in a short amount of time.  So much so, we are on the national stage in terms of enrollment numbers and enrollment numbers per a % of the state population.  

The same thing with Growers, Processors, Dispensaries. Some indicate we have way too many for a population of only 3.9 million can support in the long run. Come on patient numbers, stay strong!

The ONLY reason OK is on the national stage is because of how the laws were implemented last year. 
  • Patients - On the application, you do NOT have to even list an ICD-10 diagnosis code.  That is the ‘medical reason’ Doctors place on medical forms to identify what ails you. 
    • Many states that have MMJ have extremely strict medical conditions that qualify, we have ZERO.
  • Businesses - You basically have to fog and mirror and have $2,500 and you are approved for a license.
    • Relative to other states, this is almost a joke.  The amount of hoops to get licensed in other states, this is a gift. A gift that isn’t appreciated. 
My point for this is that if you read the Oklahoma Cannabis Facebook pages, you would think we resided in the harshest state in the union for business owners.  
 
If that upsets you, don’t even look at the patient side.  They want ‘fire’ product, for little to no cost.  And heaven forbid, if you make any money, then you are putting “profits over patients".  
 
I would highly encourage these people to get involved with an industry association to help place these laws into context.  
 
Some of these activists and associations have worked their tails off for the last few years, and have placed Oklahoma at the forefront of a ’new way’ to conduct this business.  
 
We have policies in place that will make Oklahoma unique and a trendsetter, but according to social media, it is an "unmitigated disaster”.  
 
We should be dancing in the streets compared to other states, yet every day it is the same complaints.  
 
These associations would do wonders for your blood pressure and would help many people understand exactly how unique, and how wonderful of an opportunity that was provided for everyone.  
 
I have my favorites, but this isn’t just for me to decide, you all must decide for yourself.  
 
Try them all, find your niche and support the people that are supporting the industry on your behalf.  Many are ALREADY working for you, whether it is known, appreciated or being compensated for.  
  • Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association - Located in OKC, meetings held at Speakeasy, and updates provided by the ones fighting for our behalf at the legislative level.  Go for the first hand knowledge, stay for the fellowship (it is a bar after all).  Next meeting is July 11, 2019 at 6 PM.  
    • If you don’t think The Godfather of the OK MMJ industry, Bud Scott, can’t help your business, you truly are a out-of-touch with reality.
       
  • CBPOK - This is based in Tulsa and I regularly enjoy their industry posts.
 
Next week we will be showcasing more associations and the difference in Oklahoma and surrounding states medical entities (Arkansas and Missouri).  Here is a brief overview: Missouri is limiting the entire state to 192 dispensaries.  OK has 1,605 licensed dispensaries as of July 5, 2019. 
 
Want to start your cannabis business?  Click the "Get Started" button below to contact us today.
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Update for July 1, 2019

 

From Lawrence Cagigal, our SW Territory Sales Manager...

When I made the decision to move home to OKC last year, I had tons of people asking me ‘why?‘.

I have long been a fan and advocate for Oklahoma, just ask any of my aTm or Longhorn friends in my stops in Houston or Austin.  When Oklahoma passed SQ 788 I was extremely proud how it happened, and that THAT many people voted for it!

It has been a long hard fought battle since then, I’ll thank a few people and let’s see just how far we have come: 

  • June 26th, 2018 788 passed, zero patients.
  • As of July 1, 2019 - 151,479 patients have applied, 146,381 patients have been approved.
  • As of July 1, 2019 - 3,397 Growers, 905 Processors, and 1,605 dispensaries have been approved.
 
Per various sources, this puts Oklahoma at #4 in the country in the number of patient licenses behind California, Michigan & Arizona.
 
This is quite impressive since OK only has 3.9 million people in the entire state!
 
We have shattered every metric (3 months, 6 months) with how fast we are growing with patient licenses.  So we are doing well based off raw numbers, but they doesn’t take in to account that we have a small population AND strong enrollment numbers.
 
I thought I would pass along a normalized statistic to really put our progress into perspective.
  • Oklahoma - 35 patients out of 1,000 Oklahomans has a card 
  • Maine - 34.3 patients out of 1,000
  • California - 31 patients out of 1,000
Although Maine and Cali aren’t exactly comparing apples to apples, we are in the top of % of people licensed.  
 
Next week we will dive in to some of the parties responsible for SQ788 and the laws we have in place and why we all owe them our gratitude. 
 
If you are looking to start or expand your cannabis business in Oklahoma or beyond, then please reach out to our team today!
 

 

Update for June 10, 2019

Since sales began last year, the market for MMJ in OK has steadily gained traction.  Since that time we have seen increases in growers, processors, dispensaries and most importantly, patients.  Let’s take a look to see how far we have come in such a short time:

  • December 2018 - $4,300,000 in sales for $300,000 in 7% excise tax (not including normal sales taxes)  / 26,000 patients / 805 Dispensaries
  • May 2019 - $23,000,000 in sales for $1,600,000 in 7% excise tax (not including normal sales taxes) / 129,000 patients / 1,479 Dispensaries
Keep it up Oklahoma; this is amazing growth!
 
We also would encourage everyone that has contributed to these numbers to help quantify how much impact this has on the economy for the state of Oklahoma.  This not only assists everyone to work with our Legislature but helps quantify for the nation our impact in MMJ.  
 
 

 

Update for June 3, 2019

 

Erratic Supply & Demand Creates a HUGE Learning Curve for Oklahoma Cannabis Businesses

 

As of June 3, there are 3,026 growers and 1,479 dispensaries approved for licenses in OK.  

Since October last year, we have heard “OK is going to be the next Oregon” where the price per pound falls to such low levels, many are forced to exit the market.  And as a friendly FYI, due to this being federally illegal, you are not afforded bankruptcy protection like other industries.

We have been following a few requests from growers and dispensaries recently and thought this would be an interesting blog as we see the prices are beginning to trend the opposite direction, in the short term.  

How can that be? Can 129,000 patients in Oklahoma support 5,000+ growers, processors and dispensaries?  
 
In the long term, no.  
 
In the short term, other market forces are in play that will keep the price of flower high until around ‘Crop-tober’.  
 
Those familiar with the industry Facebook pages for Oklahoma know this is a vast wasteland of entitlement and people convinced of ‘price gouging’.  Patients blame ‘greedy dispensary owners’ while what we can see, the dispensaries are charging normal, to even lower margins nationally.  Which brings us to the crux, if there are 2,890 licensed growers, how come the price per pound is still strong?  
 
Easy answer, not everyone is playing by the same rules.  
 
There have long been suspicions and subsequent confirmations that the state has been propped up with out of state products since dispensaries started selling last year.  Unfortunately this is what is seen in other states, whether MMJ or black market.  
 
Crop-Tober hit last year and flooded the markets in CO, CA and Oregon…excess or below average product is then shipped to other states where they can sell it for a higher amount elsewhere, than they can sell locally.  Normal business supply / demand practice for any other industry, unfortunately it is a felony in our industry.  
 
Fast forward 8 months down the road, that glut has dwindled down and other market forces have created a situation with a potential lack of supply in Oklahoma.  
  • Several high profile busts of illegal grows in Colorado
  • Wildfires in California last year
  • More states opening up to MMJ
  • More people now than ever are partaking (study included both black & legal market) 
  • Multiple high profile crop failures in Oklahoma
  • Patient numbers steadily increasing in Oklahoma
You don’t have to be Milton Friedman to understand the most basic of supply / demand economics: as supply goes down, the price inversely goes up.  This lack of supply will lead to an increase in pricing in the short term.
 
Growers with above average product are already pushing back on price reductions.  Dispensaries that have balked at this practice, are learning the hard way, as even the below average product is taking the same approach….which has led to some dispensaries having to go back, ‘hat in hand’ to work with growers that have excellent product.  
 
We are working with a few dispensaries on how to mitigate future crop pricing increases now, instead of a larger increase later.  We are also providing solutions to help educate their patients as to price increases, should they have to go that route.  
 
The good news is that many of our dispensaries that already have strong relationships with our growers with superior product, already have created strong patient loyalty to particular brands, therefore are less sensitive to pricing fluctuations.  
 
In lay terms, if patients are specifically going to your dispensary because you re-sell Brand XYZ, those patients are less concerned with a slight increase in price, as long as they get Brand XYZ.  
 
This strategy we implemented long ago, is a proactive way to not be as price sensitive as others have to be, and our dispensaries are being rewarded for this now and will continue to be moving forward.  
 
If you are a forward-thinking cannabis operator in Oklahoma, then please click the "Get Started" button below to contact us at Green Growth CPA’s so that we can help you implement a winning strategy to prepare for Crop-Tober.

 

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Update for May 13, 2019

 

These last few weeks have been interesting down at the State Capitol.  Many industry issues and rules are becoming more in focus and we strongly encourage the industry to start reviewing, and as needed, finding a way to have your voice heard by those making these rules.  

OSDH - About to adopt supplemental rules for our Industry 
OBN - Proposed new rules along with a Summary
 
With everything in our industry still in flux, it would make sense to put ourselves in the best possible position to work with our legislatures that support the cause of the people, and especially the ones that do NOT.  The industry provided over 18 million dollars in revenue in April 2019, and not even a full year old.  That is one big 10 month old baby!  
 
To further assist, we need to quantify our economic impact beyond just sales taxes.  Please review this Economic Impact Survey  brought to you by the people the OCIA, which has the ear of those that love and not lover our industry. 

 

Update for May 6, 2019

 
Last week we highlighted the necessity and positive business aspects of being properly banked where they embrace you as a cannabis entity.  Just like a drive thru at a busy fast food restaurant, they are MUCH more efficient by being able to take a debit card rather than just cash.  It is not mandated by law, but dispensaries utilize merchant services to better help themselves and the patients of OK.  
 
Our next topic is similar in that it is NOT required by law (as of right now) but testing will be required shortly.  Just because there is no federal or state requirements yet, doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the future, or even use this to your advantage.  From what we gather, there will be 8 items that will be mandatory that the State of Oklahoma will adopt for testing.  Last week we received some great feedback in regards to banking and will ask you all, what is your strategy in regards to testing?  Some people are using this to their advantage: there are 2,788 growers as of May 1 and a way to introduce their brand they have proactively shown how safe their medicine is.  If you have a superior product, having testing done in advance can get you in a coveted dispensary.  From there, strong sales create a win-win for the grower that took on the extra expense to the dispensary can showcase the safety of their products.  
 
Feel free to reach out to Lawrence with questions on how you plan to approach this new requirement.  As always, we are happy to learn and share what we have learned from our clients regarding testing facilities. 
 
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Update April 29, 2019

We are asked a LOT about banking and the consequential difficulties this situation poses for our industry.  

Many have heard of the SAFE Banking Act getting publicity and wanted to provide our thoughts and along with some practical options for the time being.  Please go read the numerous articles and get excited like the rest of us…..and just like 280E and cannabis being federally legalized in the not so distant future; we know it isn’t a matter of it will it happen, but a matter of when will it happen.  This is how we feel about banking and the SAFE act, hope for the best and as your advisors, prepare for the worst. 

Until federally passed, everyone still needs to find a reliable banking situation.  Once banking is "unlocked" we can provide solutions for payroll, merchant services(pin debit, cashless ATM, etc), treasury services with banking (checks, receive or pay vendors electronically) & payment of taxes all online.  We provide 5 banking options in OK (two local and 3 national), not because we find banking fun and super awesome to deal with.  No, we do it to help your business run more efficient; this efficiency is more transparent, clean and saves you money.  This can be a huge advantage over competitors, more heavily weighted to dispensaries obvi.  
 
We help our clients by providing forms based on banks requirements (at least, those that respond to us and provide documentation).  We provide:
  • About 30 pages of SOP’s - How to handle cash, who has access to product, who can order product, who reviews the safe log (what is a safe long), etc
  • They will want to see a 2 year budget / sales forecast. We have template budgets for a grower, processor, retailer or any combination there of
  • Cash count documentation, Form 8300 training
  • Cash Receipt process
This may seem like overkill...but just wait until you obtain the banking paperwork requirements.  We love that the SAFE Banking Act finally has traction in Washington, but in the meantime, you need to find ways to get this accomplished for yourself as this can save a lot of time and money. 

 

Update April 22, 2019

This past week in Oklahoma we saw a lot of great things and want to send a few reminders to our clients.  
 

CannaCon

 
From all accounts there was a robust turnout and from our experience, plenty of new vendors were represented.  GreenGrowth was there on Thursday and thankfully missed some of the ‘lines and waiting’ to enter the event.  It was great to see some clients, industry friends and found a few new ideas and groups to learn more about.  
 
CannaCon is visiting only a few cities this year: OKC, Detroit. Springfield, MA, Seattle and OKC again in September!  It is crazy to think that less than a year ago in June this was passed and we have a national convention visiting TWICE the following year. 
 
A POS system vendor with a lot of market share in OK was in attendance.  We discussed them not having a template to assist everyone in reporting to the OMMA, and we received the same “we are working on it at this time" response.  
 
I lit a fire on your behalf with a tough but fair conversation, even offering to provide some support from our end if it helps them developing a template PRIOR to a required ’seed to sale’ system being implemented.  More to follow on this and please feel free to inquire or comment with suggestions. 
 

OCIA Industry Event 

 
OCIA Event Thursday Evening: Special guests included: Tom Bates Commissioner at the Department of Health, Adrienne Rollins Head of the OMMA and Sam McClendon, Head of Compliance with the OMMA.  It is always good to know the people responsible running our industry, but even better when our industry advocates not only know, but work with the OMMA, and have their respect.  It was pretty clear that the Dept of Health and OMMA respect and like working with Bud Scott and his team at the OCIA.  
 

Misc. Updates

 
Many in the industry have been crying foul with the amount of out of state product that some dispensaries are selling.  Once internal OMMA systems are fully built out, later this summer they can provide some much needed auditing and can help curtail this situation.  The detractors of our industry are welcoming this type of behavior as it can damage everyone, especially the ones that are doing things the proper way.  Harsher penalties for violators are on the way as well.  
 
Year One Renewal Process: The Unity bill has new provisions that CAN prohibit an established business from continuing.  Word to the wise, make sure your occupancy permit, any RESIDENCY issues are taken care of, and of course, your tax commission items are set up.  There will also be a financial ‘competency’ component to watch for….although this will not be a huge issue for our clients, we need to announce this to everyone with enough time to correct. 
 
813 licensed entities in OK (either a grower, processor or retailer) are conducting business, submitting reports but have NOT completed set up and paying any taxes to the OK Tax Commission.  EIGHT HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN!   
 

OMMA Food License Deadline

 
We have been getting quite a few questions about this.  A plan review is due by April 26, 2019.  No, they are not targeting just our industry, here is a link that shows ALL the other entities this covers.  Here is the link to know more specifically for OMMA entities.  And of course, it costs money.  Here is a link to the actual form that needs to be submitted. 

 

 

Update April 15, 2019

State Question 788 passed overwhelmingly in 2018 and OK has surpassed expectations ever since.  Oklahoma CRUSHED the previous record to reach the 50,000 licensed patient benchmark, and as patient numbers rise, so are the sales.  In January 2019, MMJ sales topped 4 million and are now over 12 million in March!  With CannaCon coming to OK April 18-19th), along with a plethora of April 20th activities, experts expect to shatter this number for April. 
 
The OMMA numbers were announced today and we have surpassed 100,00 patient licenses!  
 
GreenGrowth CPA’s applauds the State of Oklahoma from voting on the issue in June 2018 to 100K patients in April 2019 is nothing short of amazing.  As the patient numbers increase and the tax dollars are sent to the State, it makes sense to quantify this to the legislature.  We ask again to review the Economic Study, info can be found below. 
 
There are many people that are acting on our behalf everyday and there is one thing you can do to help his cause; please review and consider completing this online OCIA Economic Impact Study.  
 
Besides voting, the next best way to show our elected officials that they should take this industry seriously is to quantify the economic impact we are providing to the state of Oklahoma.  They know more people voted for SQ 788 than voted for Governor Stitt and they know how many millions license applications, sales and excise tax has raised.  
 
Now is the time to leverage our voting might with our total economic might (job creation, vendor job creation, benefits) then they will have to take our industry seriously….or not at their own peril.  The Economic Study will help this endeavor, so please review. 

 

Update April 8, 2019

There are many people that are acting on our behalf every day and there is one thing you can do to help his cause; please review and consider completing this online OCIA Economic Impact Study.

Besides voting, the next best way to show our elected officials that they should take this industry seriously is to quantify the economic impact we are providing to the state of Oklahoma. They know more people voted for SQ 788 than voted for Governor Stitt and they know how many millions license applications, sales and excise tax has raised.

Now is the time to leverage our voting might with our total economic might (job creation, vendor job creation, benefits) then they will have to take our industry seriously….or not at their own peril.

The Economic Study will help this endeavor, please review.

 

 

Update April 1, 2019

Great feedback last week on our blog, and despite pending legislation we are confident in our sources and predictions from last weeks blog. Here are a few more tidbits on some bills that you may hear about this week:

HB 2601 - More on MD and patient interaction - This removes the problematic language of “board certified” that was never intended in SQ 788

  • This bill has an emergency language clause attached to it. This means if approved, it will be law when signed and we will not have to wait until August for the bills without emergency clause designations.

SB 307 - This bill is trying to formally establish the 7% tax applied by 788 as an excise tax vs a sales tax (they want to add this tax, in addition to other taxes)

  • We have been told that this most likely will not happen and we all may be getting a ’tax break’ by the 7% be considered sales tax and not an additional tax burden.

Economic Impact Study

There are many people that are acting on our behalf everyday and there is one thing you can do to help his cause; please review and consider completing this online OCIA Economic Impact Study.

Besides voting, the next best way to show our elected officials that they should take this industry seriously is to quantify the economic impact we are providing to the state of Oklahoma. They know more people voted for SQ 788 than voted for Governor Stitt and they know how many millions license applications, sales and excise tax has raised.

Now is the time to leverage our voting might with our total economic might (job creation, vendor job creation, benefits) then they will have to take our industry seriously….or not at their own peril. The Economic Study will help this endeavor, please review.

 

Update from March 25, 2019

Here is a sneak peek to some items we can expect from the legislation this session:
 
SB 882 - The dreaded Waste Management bill.  Yes, this was put together from special interest groups, and as it stands, there will only be 10 licenses granted.  But there is some good news for cultivators, the definition of marijuana waste and unusable plant material will exclude roots, stalks, stems and fan leaves. 
 
Regarding Doctor recommendation authority
  • Along with MD & DO’s, Podiatrists will be allowed to provide recommendations.  Sorry dentists and chiropractors, no go for you. 
    • Remove over burdensome Board Certification provision  
  • Telemedicine will be allowed (despite facebook and pending legislation) 
 
Out of State product being sold in OK  
  • Way harsh penalties are on the way for violators, trust me a little advantage early is NOT worth what will happen for long term 
  • The state entities that do not like MMJ will be looking for the industry to ’trip up’ in this area, let’s not do this 
 
If you are concerned about the remaining 26 MMJ bills that remain for this legislation session, we would strongly recommend speaking with your elected officials.  
 
There are many people that are acting on our behalf everyday and there is one thing you can do to help his cause; please review and consider completing this online OCIA Economic Impact Study.  
 
Besides voting, the next best way to show our elected officials that they should take this industry seriously is to quantify the economic impact we are providing to the state of Oklahoma.  They know more people voted for SQ 788 than voted for Governor Stitt and they know how many millions license applications, sales and excise tax has raised.  Now is the time to leverage our voting might with our total economic might (job creation, vendor job creation, benefits) then they will have to take our industry seriously….or not at their own peril.  The Economic Study will help this endeavor, please review. 
 
 

Update from March 18, 2019

Last Thursday Governor Stitt signed in to law HB 2612, making the hard work of so many come to fruition.  Industry watchdog and association groups admit it is not perfect, yet we need to thank many people that kept this bill from being a ‘disaster’ to the industry and against the will of the people.  There were countless bills designed to exactly this, harm the industry and go directly against the will of the people.  

Here are a few bills to keep an eye on: 
 
HB 882- Waste management / disposal - Controversial bill having to do with what happen with the waste, more controversial that it will be limited to 10 vendors, only.  We have it on good authority that the OCIA was instrumental in getting the definition of “waste” to exclude fan leaves, stems, stalks and roots.  
 
HB 2601 - The intention of SQ 788 was to allow any MD or DO that is able to practice medicine in OK, the ability to provide a patient recommendation.  Due to the way it was written, the OMMA interpreted the law to read “board certified” only.  This bill will remove the ‘board-certified- aspect, as intended, among other things. 
 
March 15th was the deadline for many Tax Returns for our clients, how comfortable were you with your return?  Looking at you C Corp, Single Member LLC’s and Sole Props, here is your warning for April 15th.  If you would like to have less stress and get things done earlier than last minute?  Or if you just have questions, feel free to contact us to start the process of knowing your cannabis taxes will be done accurately.  
 
Great job Oklahoma!   More than 80,000 patients have applied for licenses. 
 
 

Update from March 11, 2019

 

Last June, Oklahomans overwhelmingly passed State Questions 788.  This later turned in to the “Unity Bill” or House Bill 2612, which has now passed the House by a vote of 93-5 on Feb 28th and is expected to easily pass the Senate.  From there,  it will soon be signed by Governor Stitt.  

Industry groups are generally approving of the language; there is some good and some broad language that needs to be more narrowly defined.  Per an email from Chris Cotner with the Bethany Law Center,  "At the same time keep in mind that any problems will have to be addressed at a later time because this language is locked down, which was confirmed in a phone call I had with the Assistant Attorney General assigned to OMMA".

 
We will be tracking these updates and as always, please let us know if you need help identifying your state senator or need talking points to help make sure they understand the impacts of meaningful legislation. 
 

 

Update from March 4, 2019

Last week we mentioned there was a lot of activity for Growers, relative to city and state Fire Marshals. Even though state question 788 addressed many items strictly relating to a MMJ business, there are basic laws and codes that any business, regardless of THC content, must conform. We are receiving feedback that some people are not obtaining their License of Occupancy.

In other states when all THC was illegal, the electricity provider has long been affiliated with sharing “outliers” with authorities. These outliers, addresses that were using an abnormal amount of power, may fit the profile of a ‘grow facility’. Unofficially, were have heard rumors of this same practice used in OK. These ‘outliers’ are being reviewed by a Fire Marshall to see if you have your license for occupancy. If not, you are shut down immediately. The fear being, if you do not have our occupancy license, no one has verified the updates generally being done on the building can properly support this new power burden (Grow lights, HVAC, water, etc).

For our OKC growers (and to some extent, processors) the Fire Marshals are adopting more codes, this info will be made public soon. We are often asked about pending legislation or codes and are corporate response is that you can always ‘go above and beyond’ then what the minimum specifications of OK law. The thought is that if you would be in compliance with other states: Colorado, Washington, California as examples, you will most likely always be in compliance for what is made in to law in Oklahoma. But until an official announcement is made, we would assume they will adopt NFPA-1

Feel free to reach out to us with questions and we are happy to send a few names of entities that can assist you to keep you in compliance. 

 

Update from February 25, 2019

Senate House Bill 2612 was developed after State Question 788 passed last year and is known as the Unity Bill.

This bill was developed from the bicameral Medical Marijuana working group in conjunction with many state association groups.

Since the associations have been working with the state legislature, OBN, Dept of health, municipal league and the OMMA (among others) is now being referred to as the "Skinnity Bill” as some provisions are being changed. HB 2612 is about 80 pages long and passed a key committee last week and could be heard as early as this week.

As always we at GreenGrowth CPA’s highly encourage conversation with your elected officials. Feel free to reach out to us with questions and we will update accordantly.

Next week we will bring important information for our growers, in the meantime we strongly suggest to familiarize yourself with fire codes.

 

Update from February 19, 2019

The Oklahoma Tax Commission released the January numbers with a HUGE increase from the months before. MMJ sales were $4.3 million, which generated $306,265 from the 7% sales tax, but does NOT include the standard sales tax that varies from city to city. Many feel these numbers will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future because the patient numbers consistently increase.

These numbers should provide strong political cover for the legislators to follow the will of the people, when discussing bills that can impact our industry. Last week was busy at the capitol, on Wednesday Feb 13th, the Joint Working Group sent the proposal (unanimously) to a House Committee. This version of the "Unity Bill” as it is called, has basically been signed off on by every major industry association, with each having some changes they prefer. The OMMA also announced their updated rules that are intended to replace the emergency rules from this summer. Feedback we received that this cleaned up some ‘messy or confusing language’, and no major changes that cause our clients any undue hardship. Different associations and lobbyists are pursuing some additional changes of these rules and will update accordingly.

 

Update from February 11, 2019

 

From our friends at the OCIA,  they have provided some feedback regarding the emergency rules that were passed by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics on January 4th.  

While the rules basically follow with Colorado has on the books, there are still a few items in that bill that need to be amended and followed by our industry.  They have had communications with the OBN and are fighting the good fight.  

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics indicated they are willing to reduce some fencing requirements and also reduce the record keeping requirements from seven years down to two years.  We will provide updates to this issue when available.  

We at GreenGrowth CPA’s always encourage open dialogue with your elected state officials, let them know how you feel about our industry…..because those that do not like this industry certainly are.  
 
 

 

Update from February 4, 2019

Today is the official start of the 2019 legislative session with all eyes on newly elected Governor Stitt and the 58 bills that will indirectly or directly impact SQ 788. On Tuesday Jan 29th, members of the OCIA were treated to a presentation and great Q & A with members of the OMMA. Sam McClendon, Compliance and Enforcement Manager, provided a great overview of where the OMMA began to where it is today, with discussion on improvements for the near future (good news, help with monthly reporting is on the way). Attendees were impressed with the OMMA’s desire to follow SQ 788 and to adjudicate items in that light. Some feared that people within the OMMA would let personal bias interfere with the will of the people, but those fears were put to rest. Major kudos to those in the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association for setting up such a wonderful event to meet and hear from the very people tasked with running the agency.

Of the 58 industry associated bills, there are a few that are specifically designed to limit what we, as Oklahomans, voted on last year in state question 788. A few bills that are designed to harm 788, are generally not considered a threat, but will be watched by many associations in Oklahoma. We at GreenGrowth CPA’s always encourage dialogue with your locally elected officials, it is good policy to let them know where their constituents stand on this issue. Here are a few reasons why many are bullish about support for this new and burgeoning industry: For the month of December, Oklahoma almost hit the 1 million dollar sales threshold resulting in around $70,000 in sales tax revenue (7%, not including local sales tax that varies from city to city). January numbers have not been released, but was on track for $86,000 in sales tax as of mid-January. The state has collected over TEN MILLION dollars from growers, processors and dispensaries in licensing fees since June 2018. Industry projections show such a positive trend, that those elected officials that would choose to derail this industry, will not be able to ignore the impact that local and state sales tax has on their municipalities. They now have a fiduciary responsibility to acknowledge this industry moving forward, and will be held accountable at the polls, especially with as many trade groups that will track their votes on industry issues.

Let us know if you would like to maximize your after tax revenue, while maintaining financial compliance (and KNOW you have done everything correctly by professionals with many years of 280E experience).

Licensing Update

As of February 4 from OMMA

 

 

 

 

Update from January 28, 2019

 

Oklahoma Legislative Session

As we look to the 2019 Oklahoma Legislative session that begins next Monday, there is a unique opportunity to meet the people that work at the OMMA.  

 

OCIA Event

The Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association (formerly New Health Solutions of Oklahoma) will be hosting Adrienne Rollins, Executive Director and Sam McClendon, Compliance & Enforcement Manager with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to discuss best practices, planned updates, impending regulations and just an excellent opportunity to meet the folks regulating our industry.  

This will be take place at 51st Street Speakeasy on Tuesday Jan 29, 2019, if you would like to know more or to attend this event, please visit their website OCIA.

 

Licensing Update

As of January 28 from OMMA

Cannabis Applications Received

  • 47,801 patient,
  • 328 caregiver and
  • 3,207 business applications received
  • 51,336 total

Cannabis Applications Approved

  • 35,862 patient,
  • 220 caregiver,
  • 902 dispensary,
  • 1,482 grower and
  • 389 processor licenses approved
  • 38,855 total

 

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Update from January 21, 2019

GreenGrowth CPAs has boots on the ground in Oklahoma to best assist this growing industry market.  There have been two major items in the past few weeks and the 2019 Oklahoma Legislature set to meet in a few weeks. 

Testing Approved for Edibles

On December 22, 2018, Governor Mary Fallin approved regulations for the testing and regulation of edibles.  

The feedback from all areas is that this was a success.  The Board of Health worked with industry leaders to adopt rules that make sense; they keep the public safe and followed the framework for Colorado.  

Industry insiders were able to defeat the multiple attempts to adopt overly burdensome regulations.  

OBN Adopts Emergency Rules 

With little to no news coverage, on Jan 4, 2019, Governor Mary Fallin signed emergency rules adopted by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.  

Most of the industry felt blindsided and were curious as to how/why these passed without much discussion.  

From prior experience of what happened in July, many were fearful of the State was trying once again to fight the will of the people. Upon further review, thankfully it is mostly clean up of the language and again follows the framework of Colorado.  

There have been a few items that will still need to be addressed and many feel will not stand.  There are some rule changes in regards to security and mandatory fencing around grow operations.  

Others have an issue with the new (Chapter 25)  7 year record keeping and who has authority (peace officer, state or federal) to “inspect and copy” your “readily retrievable” OMMA data.  


2019 Oklahoma Legislative Session

The deadline for new bills was January 17th with at least 58 new cannabis related bills filed.  

GreenGrowth CPAs aligns itself with many industry insiders and associations to help safeguard this industry and our clients.  We will be watching and speaking with our connections to stay up to date on the latest happenings at the capital.  

Here are a few items that were explained to us that were important to monitor:

  • City & County authority in the licensing process vs state authority,
  • Having the OMMA a free-standing agency,
  • Expanding prescription authority to more medical professionals & protecting patient rights and gun ownership clarification.  

If you are ready to get involved with commercial cannabis in Oklahoma, then reach out to a team member to get started today!

Get Started

 

Post Tags: Licenses, Oklahoma

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