It was only just a few short years ago that medical marijuana was a highly controversial subject and only a handful of states had laws on the books protecting patients from prosecution if they had a doctor’s prescription. Now, more and more states are passing laws to legalize medical or recreational use of cannabis and as a result, some states are even beginning to realize a profit from the industry. So why would the cannabis industry need accountants and business administrators? Actually, if any industry did need professional help in terms of accounting and business operations it would be the cannabis industry for several very good reasons.

A Fledgling Industry

As a fledgling ‘legal’ industry, cannabis has the potential to raise billions of dollars for state governments around the country. However, since no two states where marijuana is on the books have exactly the same laws enacted, it takes the expertise of an accountant to weed through all the legalities – no pun intended.

Any dispensary or qualifying merchant carrying cannabis products needs to keep all of the usual things like taxes and overhead into consideration, but the laws, being newly legislated, will take a thorough understanding to ensure government is getting their share of profits while stores are able to show a profit as well. Never before, except perhaps at the end of prohibition, has there been an industry so in need of business managers and accountants to keep things organized and within legal constraints.

A New Industry with Nowhere to Go but Up

It is suggested, as when any industry is new, that professionals specialize in the administration of companies looking at new laws and loopholes that could cost them dearly if they don’t understand all the intricacies of the law. While you won’t find schools like Northeastern University offering online MBA programs specifically offering a curriculum specific to the cannabis industry, a graduate would necessarily have an idea of what it takes to turn a profit while staying within the confines of the law.

More States Set to Legalize Recreational Use

Again, it is a new industry, but one that is long overdue. There are currently four states,plus the District of Columbia,with legalized recreational use, and another four states have initiatives on the ballots to legalize recreational use. If California alone of those four goes legal, it won’t be long before the nation sees a major shift considering the huge population of that state, and as a result, its representation in Congress.

New Laws Prompt a Need for Informed Professionals

Whether you are the owner and operator of a dispensary in states where medical marijuana is legalized, or a business in those states where recreational use is legal, it is still a fledgling industry that needs specialized processes because even laws are not absolutely clear at this point in time. Having an online MBA degree will help with the organizational end of the business while being an accountant would assist businesses with keeping taxes straight in an industry where laws are often muddy at best.

In any event, this is one industry with massive room for growth and as a result, in need of professionals who understand what it takes to turn a profit while staying within legal boundaries.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].