Statement from the NJCPA About New Jersey’s Cannabis Industry
June 6, 2018
New Jersey’s expansion of the medical cannabis program and the potential for legalization of recreational use on the horizon brings an increased demand for professional services by certified public accountants (CPAs). An efficient regulation and tax structure for the cannabis industry will lead to a measurable — and perhaps substantial — revenue boost for the state.
As the state’s largest professional organization serving Garden State CPAs and an advocate for the public interest, the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) will work with lawmakers and industry leaders to ensure that businesses in this burgeoning sector are represented in a professional and coordinated way. NJCPA members are available to advise lawmakers as uniquely informed experts when it comes to writing laws and advancing the public dialogue. In that spirit, the NJCPA recommends the following:
- Minimize the tax burden on the licensed cannabis market during the ramp up period, helping to ensure the regulated market survives and thrives. The state of Washington saw an exponential growth in cannabis tax revenue after it simplified its tax structure and reduced its rates.
- Advance legislation that will make financial services available to marijuana producers, processors, retailers, qualifying patients, health care professionals and designated providers. Such legislation would ensure that these entities are protected from facing any criminal charges and add a layer of protection for the financial industry and the CPA professionals who serve them. These protections would further serve to bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the banking sector, give law enforcement the ability to monitor transactions and reduce the risk of marijuana businesses becoming targets for crime.
Lawmakers, entrepreneurs and the financial sector need to work together to provide an environment that not only fosters growth but adapts quickly to changing business needs.
The NJCPA Cannabis Interest Group was formed to help our members navigate this rapidly changing industry. The group will enable the NJCPA and its members to share news, insights and best practices, as well as conduct regular educational and networking events to strengthen the cannabis business community and foster important industry relationships.
The NJCPA and New Jersey CPAs stand ready to be a resource.