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Insurance and CPA Firms Helping Add Safety and Transparency To Medical Marijuana Businesses

Sam Sabzehzar 2010-06-24 0 comments

Onisko & Scholz offer accounting services to California collectives, including third party auditing for not-for-profit compliance.

With the recent interest in medical cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics, old businesses are adapting.

For a collective to operate lawfully in the state of California, they must be registered as a Mutually Beneficial Not-For-Profit Corporation.  They must also carry insurance (which was next to impossible a few years ago) as well as be audited by an independent third party, like Onisko & Scholz, a certified public accounting firm in Southern California where Lauren Osborne, Director of Marketing and Business Development, hopes to help bring collectives out of the dark and onto the books.

“It was easy for us to adapt our standard audit procedures to audit the collectives and¬†we know how important it is for them as a business to comply with state law and it’s important for the state to see companies like ours participate in this industry,” noting that “this isn’t a business that everyone in this part of the world is used to yet, but it’s clear that we all have to get used to it.”

Today Lauren and her boss, one of the partners at her firm, are promoting their services to a market that isn’t used to seeing them around either. ¬†As one collective owner states in Long Beach puts it “if we have to be transparent, it’s good that there are companies willing to help us… most¬†don’t. ¬†Still it’s a bit weird to hear them ask to see our books.”

Another company helping pioneering this industry on the books is¬†Luhring¬†SurvivalWare, Inc. ¬†Ironically based in a non-compassionate state, Founder and CEO Rusty¬†Luhring¬†opening up a west coast branch to help collectives, CPA firms, insurance companies, and anyone else who has to keep a close on on numbers. ¬†His product,¬†SurvivalWare¬†Pro, is an excellent cash-flow projects program but it actually does so much more than that, which is why business all across the board are flocking to it. ¬†As Rusty explains, “it’s not just important to know what your numbers look like today, but it’s critical to know what they will be in 6 months too, and all different types of people need to be able to recognize not just what they are looking at but also what what they are looking at means.”

“This isn’t a business that everyone in this part of the world is used to yet, but it’s clear that we all have to get used to it and I’m very proud to work for an organization that sees what tomorrow looks like while helping collectives owners and their patients today.”

Having an insurance company also get on board allows for a safer environment implied in the very word “insurance.” ¬†There are many products in a collective besides medicine, although that one is very important to have covered in your policy. ¬†Some collectives have medicine in others forms than just plant matter so if a brownie containing clinical cannabis and made in a facility with nuts, for example, has a bad reaction with a patient, then the company who made and packaged the brownie would also carry insurance and comply with label laws.

This safe atmosphere of operation is available in all states that have a Compassionate Use Act, and it’s important for states without a Compassionate Act to move forward in their own conversation while listening to the ones currently being discussed around them.