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Found 6 results

  1. When forming a corporate structure for any business a company is generally weighing two factors: 1) What are my tax liabilities? and 2) What are my civil liabilities? General practice in Michigan for most business owners is to set something up called an LLC (limited liability company). This business has the benefit of being both taxed friendly, as you are only taxed on an individual level, and not as a company, along with the benefit of providing a solid amount of liability protection from being held personally responsible if your company is being sued. This is generally results in a win-win situation for business owners, and as a result is the ideal set-up. However, there are certain disadvantages to this set-up, which make it particularly dangerous for those setting of a cannabis business. 280E to be exact... If anyone is unfamiliar with this law please feel free to review the last blog post. This heightened tax liability, that is confusing, constantly changing, and often overlooked so as to avoid massive taxation, has frequently led to audits where cannabis businesses are facing massive audits sometimes as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars. So in an L.L.C when your company is determined to owe the IRS $500,000 the IRS will first determine whether the business can cover the debt, but also the Internal Revenue Service will be able to go after the business owner personally for the remainder of the owed taxes. That includes anyone with any portion of ownership in the company. So not only does your company stand to be dealt a death blow by a sever tax audit, but your personal finances could ultimately become crushed. Now these tax liabilities are most frequently owed by the provisioning side of the licensing and not by the grower, but based on the tax court trending towards more and more taxation it is safe to say that no company is truly safe from the potential wrath of the IRS and therefore it highly recommended when setting up your corporation to avoid taking excessive risk and therefore to avoid setting up as an L.L.C. -Josh Colton
  2. Below I have attached a link to all of the administrative rules that were released by LARA in relation to the MMFLA. This definitely provides some clarity and insight into what potential license applicants can expect through the process, while operating their facilities, and in their interactions with the state. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/opt/Emergency_Rules_Medical_Marihuana_Facilities_Licensing_Act_607643_7.pdf
  3. The purpose of this bulletin is to advise municipalities (cities, townships, and villages) of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation’s (BMMR) intentions regarding municipality authorization of medical marihuana facilities. This bulletin is only for advisory purposes and is subject to change. Under the Medical Marihuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA), MCL 333.27101 et seq., a municipality has the discretion to adopt an ordinance authorizing one or more types of marihuana facilities to operate within its boundaries. An applicant that is located in a municipality without an authorizing ordinance is ineligible for state marihuana facility licensure. The Bureau intends to rely on the local municipality’s authorizing ordinance to determine whether an applicant is in compliance with relevant provisions of the MMFLA. Information that will be considered includes the following: The types of marihuana facilities (growers, processors, provisioning centers, safety compliance facilities, and/or secure transporters) allowed to operate in the municipality. If applicable, the maximum number of each type of marihuana facility allowed to operate in the municipality. Any zoning regulations that apply to marihuana facilities within the municipality, including whether licensees may apply for special use permits. More information regarding municipalities and the MMFLA: Municipalities shall not impose regulations regarding the purity or pricing of marihuana. Municipalities shall not impose regulations that conflict with statutory regulations for licensing marihuana facilities. There is no deadline for municipalities to adopt authorizing ordinances. Municipalities are not required to “opt out” or prohibit marihuana facilities within their boundaries. This bulletin does not constitute legal advice and is subject to change. It is intended to be advisory only, in anticipation of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ promulgation of emergency rules consistent with statutory requirements. Potential licensees are encouraged to seek legal counsel to ensure their licensure applications and operations comply with the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act and associated administrative rules. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/ADVISORY_BULLETIN_-_Municipal_Authorization_FINAL_604557_7.pdf
  4. LARA Announces Medical Marihuana Educational Sessions; BMMR to show potential licensees the application process, monitoring system Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280 Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov October 9, 2017 – The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) announced today the dates, times and locations of a series of educational sessions designed to familiarize potential licensees with the application process and the statewide monitoring system. Employees of LARA and BMMR will be on hand during the in-person sessions to show attendees the license application process for each of the five license categories: Grower Processor Secure Transporter Provisioning Center Safety Compliance Facility While applications will not be completed during these events, attendees will be able to familiarize themselves with the process – and what will be required – when the applications become available on Dec. 15, 2017. Representatives from Franwell – the company chosen to implement Michigan’s statewide monitoring system for integrated marihuana tracking, inventory, and verification under the Marihuana Tracking Act – will be present at each of the five medical marihuana educational sessions to demonstrate Franwell’s Metrc, the seed-to-sale tracking system, to potential licensees. Metrc is a cloud-hosted, real-time, online software reporting system that will be used by licensed Michigan medical marihuana businesses to manage and report supply chain activities as required by state rules. Metrc uses serialized tags attached to every plant – and labels attached to wholesale packages – to track medical marijuana inventory through different stages of growth, as well the drying and curing processes. The educational sessions will take place in five locations throughout the state: Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 Oakland Community College, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 Great Wolf Lodge, 3575 North US Highway 31 South, Traverse City, MI Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 Wing’s Conference Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, Kalamazoo, MI Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 Kellogg Conference Center, 219 South Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI The Nov. 9 and Nov. 15 events will also be live-streamed on the BMMR website at www.michigan.gov/medicalmarihuana All events begin at 9:00 AM and end at 12:00 PM. There is no cost to attend the medical marihuana educational sessions but – due to space constraints – potential licensees and their representatives must all register at https://www.metrc.com/michigan by 5:00 PM on Nov. 1, 2017 to guarantee themselves entrance to the event. Click “Sign up for Educational Sessions” and then choose the appropriate date. The LARA educational sessions are not board meetings and there will not be time set aside for public comment. The educational sessions will be informative presentations of processes for Metrc (the statewide monitoring system) and Accela (the application process) that will be utilized by future licensees and/or potential applicants and will not interfere with the authority of the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board or the Advisory Panel as provided under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Attendance at the educational sessions will not affect a potential licensee’s application. All interested members of the public will be able to participate in future training opportunities whether they attend the educational sessions or not. Any information or feedback provided at the educational sessions is merely advisory. Members of the media are asked to RSVP to David Harns by calling 517-373-6963 or emailing HarnsD1@michigan.gov.
  5. The purpose of this bulletin is to inform the public and potential medical marihuana licensees of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation’s intentions regarding testing of marihuana and marihuana-infused products. This bulletin is only for advisory purposes and is subject to change. The Bureau intends to require testing of marihuana and marihuana-infused products at the following two points in the supply chain: After harvest: Harvested marihuana must pass required tests before it is transferred from a grower to a processor or a provisioning center. After processing: Marihuana and marihuana-infused products in their final state must pass required tests before they are transferred from a processor to a provisioning center. Facilities may choose to test their products at additional points in the supply chain. More information regarding marihuana testing: The test results will be recorded in the statewide monitoring system by the licensed safety compliance facility The grower or processor that provided the test sample will be able to view the testing results in the statewide monitoring system once they have been recorded A caregiver may choose to have his or her product tested by a licensed safety compliance facility, but those tests will not be recorded or tracked in the statewide monitoring system. Licensed provisioning centers can sell or transfer marihuana to a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver only after it has been tested and bears the label required for retail sale. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/BMMR_Advisory_Bulletin_Testing_602773_7.pdf
  6. The creation of the MMFLA is anything but a simple application process like we see with the MMMA. The requirements include, but are not limited to, Background investigation, municipal property approval, and application preparation. If this sounds easy I apologize for being misleading but the reality is that this will be anything but that. This is heavy government regulation and heavy compliance and maybe even above and beyond that this will be HEAVILY TAXED by the state and also the IRS. Today I would like to focus in a bit on the IRS side of things and specifically 280E. IRS Taxcode 280E states that: Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code forbids businesses from deducting otherwise ordinary business expenses from gross income associated with the “trafficking” of Schedule I or II substances, as defined by the Controlled Substances Act. This code has led to marijuana businesses being hit with significant IRS audits that have resulted in heavy fines being levied against these businesses, some so severe that they have actually not only been shut down but the individuals who own these businesses are actually personally harmed by the IRS. Let me back up and explain this a little bit though... Cannabis producers, retailers, and processors are not allowed to take deductions for many of their expenses from their taxable income, as a result they are taxed at a much higher effective rate than other similar business types. The only deductions marijuana businesses can claim are costs of coods sold, such as labor costs for things like seeding, planting, and cultivating. They can’t make any deductions attributable to general business activities or marketing activities because of 280E. There have been some additional cases allowing for limited deductions if a corporation is set up appropriately. I plan on going into more depth on these issues going forward, but I wanted to start bringing up this largely alarming issue to both the caregiver and MMFLA Licensee communities. If your CPA or Attorney who advises you in these matters is not heavily versed and focused in on this issue, then you are entering a very dangerous area. The only way to avoid the IRS penalties that destroy businesses and lives is to put in the necessary structuring, preparation, and procedures. The best advice that can possibly be given is SPEAK TO AN EXPERT!! -Josh Colton
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