OAB recommends CPAs seek legal advice before servicing cannabis clients

October 3, 2019

The Oklahoma Accountancy Board recently released its official stand on medical marijuana after its meeting on September 20. 

Moving forward, the Board has formally adopted the following policy regarding CPAs seeking to provide services in the legal medical marijuana industry:

  • The Board will not pursue independent disciplinary action against a registrant who is providing services to businesses in the medical marijuana industry that are operating within the boundaries of Oklahoma state law, notwithstanding a successful prosecution of a criminal act.
  • The Board will not speculate on state or federal drug policy enforcement nor seek to interpret any state’s marijuana laws that are not directly related to the practice of public accounting.
  • While the Board will not take action against registrants solely for providing services to legal businesses in the medical marijuana industry, the Board’s position does not negate the possibility that it may take disciplinary action against a registrant found guilty of a criminal act. The Board will treat any successful prosecution related to federal or state marijuana laws just as it would the prosecution of any other criminal act.
  • The Board strongly recommends CPAs and public accounting firms considering providing services to businesses in the medical marijuana industry seek legal counsel to discuss potential risks, including but not limited to the continued uncertainty surrounding enforcement of applicable federal or state drug laws, anti-money laundering laws and related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

Looking for more information surrounding this topic?

Listen to a conversation on cannabis from the Maryland Society of CPAs' podcast, featuring Emily Burns, a Baltimore attorney and expert in the cannabis industry.

You can also check out this article on the U.S. House's passage of a bill giving banks access to cannabis clients.

Get more in-depth information at these upcoming OSCPA events: 

Small Firm Practitioners Summit 
November 22 at the OSCPA Learning Center
Simulcast available!

Oklahoma Tax Institute
December 4-5 in River Spirit Casino, Tulsa
Simulcast available!