Business Accountants should take a keen interest in the current process to legalise cannabis use in South Africa. This follows similar steps taken by other States including the US to allow the medical use of cannabis and the commercialisation of the cannabis industry. The new Medical Innovation Bill introduced to parliament last year seeks to legalise the medical, industrial and commercial use of dagga in South Africa in accordance with emerging world standards.
According to reports the bill creates a dispensation that would only permit doctors in research hospitals that are authorized by the Minister of Health to prescribe and administer cannabis based medicine to South African patients. The bill is available to view here.
Once the new industry is legal many aspiring cannabis farmers and dispensaries will need accounting and tax advice. CPA Trendlines reports that in the USA cannabis dispensaries and recreational stores are pulling in about $3.1 billion in revenue this year, the U.S. marijuana industry is expected to pump an estimated $10 billion into state and local economies, making it a powerful source of industry, employment and taxes for cash-strapped states, according to the Marijuana Business Factbook. The same source projects a $29 billion industry in four years, rivaling today’s U.S. wine industry. More than 60 tax, accounting and CPA firms in more than two dozen states are already advertising cannabis-related business issues as a specialty niche.
Watch this interview by NBC News with a Cannabis accountant CPA Jim Marty. He started an accounting firm in 2013 solely to service companies that work in the legalized marijuana industry. Marty’s firm Bridge West CPAs may be the pre-eminent accounting firm serving the cannabis industry in the United States and internationally. The firm provides bookkeeping, accounting, tax, attest/assurance services and business consulting services to non-profit organizations, for-profit companies and individuals associated with the cannabis industry. The firm works with dozens of local law firms throughout the country and the most knowledgeable and experienced nationally known tax attorneys to help defend its clients from challenges by taxing authorities. In addition to their role as accountants, they are also hired as expert witnesses in tax and legal matters and as advisors in mergers and acquisitions.
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