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  July 19, 2018
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As part of its mission to assemble a community of top advisors and businesses in cannabis, on July 10, 2018 the NACB conducted its second Symposium, focusing on issues relating to tax and accounting in the cannabis industry.

NACB Members and Blue Ribbon Affiliates received exclusive access to this event, which was hosted by the acclaimed advisory firm CohnReznick and featured speakers from other premier firms and top-ranked boutiques, including Jones Day, FTI Consulting, Harris Bricken and BLY CPA.

You can download the NACB Legal Symposium Handbook below, along with PDFs of each presentation from the event.

Participant Graphic for Accounting Symposium 2




Advanced Tax Planning & Structuring

Michael Harlow (CohnReznick) discusses issues unique to tax planning and structuring for cannabis businesses, as well as delineating useful strategies to mitigate tax liability from those to avoid.

Michael is a partner and the Co-Practice Director for the DC Metro Tax Practice for CohnReznick. Most recently, he’s taken a lead role in the CohnReznick Cannabis Practice, bringing his existing skill set to this emerging industry.

Tax Issues in Cannabis M&A Transactions

Steve Parrinello (Jones Day) discusses how the typical mergers and acquisitions process is different in the cannabis context, from valuation through structuring, documentation, and closing.

Steve helps his clients navigate byzantine tax rules in some of their most complex transactions, from diligence and structuring through post-transaction integration. He regularly advises global clients in creating and maintaining efficient cross-border arrangements, collaborating with other tax attorneys in Jones Day offices all over the world.

National Standards for Financial Integrity

Eugene Morgulis (NACB) discusses how the self-regulation can contribute to the growth and health of the cannabis, and outlines the process and benefits of developing common standards for financial integrity.

Eugene is the NACB’s Director of Legal and Strategic Initiatives and an experienced data security and litigation attorney. His practice focuses on the emerging areas of law, technology, and complex regulatory structures, including data privacy, compliance, internal investigations, risk assessment, e-discovery, voting rights and Constitutional law.

Federal Legalization and Why Veterans Matter

Special guest speaker Nick Etten (Veterans Cannabis Project) discusses the current status of federal cannabis legislation and his group’s efforts to bring veterans’ issues to the forefront of the debate.

Since serving on active duty as a U.S. Navy SEAL, Nick has spent 20 years as a private equity professional and operations executive with several organizations. Nick earned an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a BS in political science from the United States Naval Academy.

Revenue Recognition & Accounting System

Alexander Arnote (FTI Consulting) discusses how different choices between methods of accounting can affect a cannabis business’s bottom line.

As FTI’s Senior Direct of Data Analytics, Alex serves in a client interfacing role primarily focused on assisting companies with audits, investigations, government regulations, and litigation characterized by short deadlines and requiring a high level of accuracy.

Preparing to be Audited

James Hunt (Harris Bricken) discusses how cannabis business who expect and prepare for audits can benefit from advanced planning, as well the lessons of recent court decisions in the industry.

Jim Hunt has spent his legal career advising individuals, non-profit organizations and Fortune 100 companies on tax law, including in-house tax counsel and management roles with: Ernst & Young; GE Capital; WAMU/J.P. Morgan Chase; and, Amazon. He was the two term Chair of the State and Local Tax Committee of the Washington State Bar Association.

Accounting from the Start of a Business

John Barthel (BLY CPA) discusses various models of business structuring in cannabis, the modern move toward simplifying accounting designs, and their affect on finances.

As an owner and partner at the accounting firm BLY CPA, John Barthel works with various cannabis businesses in California, helping them organize the manual process inherent in the industry. Through his experiences, he’s developed techniques and business relations to streamline companies, focusing on tackling the ever-growing complexity of compliance.










Author Bio

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses is the first and only self-regulatory organization (SRO) in U.S. cannabis. Our members function as a self-governing community, focused on differentiating themselves to regulators, the public and others as the most legitimate, professional and trustworthy businesses in the industry.