State Licensing /Local Permitting and Political Consulting
Anyone who wants to be in the California cannabis industry (e.g. commercially growing, distributing, manufacturing, testing, or selling, legally under State, not Federal, law) has to understand the first rule: you cannot get a state license, which is required to operate a CA-only legal business, unless you have the approval of the local governmental unit in which you are operating. That’s approval from one of 482 distinct cities and 58 counties, 540 in total (not to mention the potential quasi-local power given to certain of CA’s native American tribes).
Alan, Kumin & Associates is a full-service consulting firm dedicated to helping our cannabis-business clients remain become compliant with state and local ordinances, laws and regulations. In addition to political consulting, AK&A provides comprehensive regulatory compliance advice for businesses at all stages of development, from formation through operation.
Business Investment Advice
Providing sound investment advice is challenging for an emerging industry that has operated in the black market and gray market for decades. And while data from states like Colorado gives some direction to predicting future trends, California, with over 39 million people, is truly unique. The factors requiring analysis are many and the questions that each cannabis business must ask itself are numerous. We know which questions to ask, and we know how to answer them.
Real Estate Consulting
For cannabis industry entrepreneurs, locating and purchasing real estate is an essential step toward gaining local approval. However, because a cannabis business property must comply with numerous regulatory requirements and governmental examinations to qualify for local and state approval, obtaining a space to operate is often a substantial hurdle.
Specialized Tax Consulting
Our Firm’s co-principal, Matt Kumin, a licensed attorney, identified tax issues impacting cannabis operations in the late 1990’s. In 2005, he took the lead in CHAMP v. the Commissioner of the IRS (128 T.C. No. 14), the seminal tax court case which addressed the non-deductibility of drug trafficking expenses under 280E (federal law considers any commercial cannabis activities as illegal drug trafficking). Matt put together a team of attorneys and they won the case, establishing and affirming a number of important legal points.
Now, the Firm advises companies, CPA’s and attorneys around the country on federal cannabis taxation. Taxation under 280E impacts commercial cannabis operations differently, whether retail, cultivation, manufacturing or distribution. While our Firm continues to actively support and advocate changes in taxation of cannabis in Congress, until the federal laws change, careful tax planning is critical.
Business Operations Consulting
The operation needs of a business vary greatly from company to company. It is critical to the success of a business to have a strategic plan from the outset dealing with the efficiency of the businesses operations. Building the right foundation from the start is directly within our wheelhouse.