Skip to main content

Firm Management

October 2018 Firm Management Channel


Why Accounting Firms Should Niche in the Medical Cannabis Industry

By Richard Roppa

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the medical marijuana industry is growing fast. No matter your position on the medical and recreational use of marijuana stands, you should be paying attention to the explosive growth and needs of this industry because… the times they are a changin’.

All medical marijuana growers and dispensaries have very specific accounting requirements and are need of qualified Accountants and Bookkeepers to help them stay compliant as well as stay on top of their cash flow, inventory management, and Point-of-Sale just to name a few areas of operations.

As of August 2018, there are 31 legal medical marijuana states in the United States plus the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Now, that’s over half of the amount of states in the US that have loosened previously tight regulations over this medicinal plant. There are 9 states where marijuana is legal for recreational use.

What exactly does this mean to Accountants and Bookkeepers?

Defining a niche positions your firm as the expert and “go-to” resource for clients. It also opens the door to important collaborations with fellow industry leaders. When clients need accounting help, which they all do, you’ll be top of mind as the industry specialist.

Niching also comes with the advantage of partnering with apps and software developers to better serve your clients. So, instead of having to learn 10 or more various industry apps, you can specialize in, let’s say, 3. You’ll not only save hours of research and learning time, but you’ll be able to offer clients great prices on these apps while possibly earning affiliate income through partnerships.

If you support this industry and choose not to explore it as a niche, you may be missing out on a big opportunity for the growth of your firm!

So, you’re interested in the medical marijuana industry, but where do you start?

  1. First, gather your resources!
    1. The National Cannabis Industry Association is the go-to for advocacy, education, and community resources.
    2. Ganjapreneur is your source for industry news, resources, and insights.
    3. FindLaw has compiled a nice list of states and their requirements to open and operate a dispensary.
  2. Next, reach out to other accounting firms that have specialized in this niche and get to know them. They’ll be a valuable resource to you as you start.
  3. Finally, begin with one dispensary and dive in! Hands-on experience is always the best way to learn and refine those skills. Or, you can start by learning directly from MJBizCon here.

The statistics are out there… the marijuana industry is not going anywhere. As Lester Black of The Stranger says, “If 2012 was the year we punched a hole in the green ceiling, 2018 will be the year that whatever remains of that ceiling is burned to ash like a freshly packed bowl.

Let’s be ready for this industry’s needs! They need you.

Do you know fellow Accountants and Bookkeepers that could use the resources listed here? Share on social and let’s connect!

What are your thoughts and concerns around niching for the marijuana industry? Leave your comments below!


Richard Roppa is the founder of Quasar Cowboy Consulting, where he helps accounting firms and their clients with technology, workflow, engagement process, sales, marketing, and long-term planning.



Top Firm Management Social Media

Who are the Most Influential People in Your Company? Thomson Reuters Blog.

How to Attract Millennial Clients. Canopy Tax Blog.

4 Tips to Ramp Up for Fall Busy Season. AICPA Insights Blog.

5 Project Management Problems That Hurt Firms. Wolters Kluwer Blog.

Best Practices and Examples for Email Subject Lines. Thomson Reuters Blog.

Top Firm Management News

AFWA Banes Hartke New President. Karyn Hartke, CPA has been named the 2018-2019 National President of Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA).

Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan? Individuals, families and businesses begin getting ready for a disaster with a preparedness plan that includes key documents, lists of belongings and property.

Convergence Coaching Announces Fall Graduates.TLP participants develop new skills and behaviors to take their leadership to the next level, allowing them to take on new roles and responsibilities in their firms.

K2 Enterprises Announces Quality Awards. The K2 Quality Awards are in their seventeenth year and the are among the most well respected and longest standing awards in the accounting industry.

Cloudy with a Chance of Desktop. Intuit offers a conversion back to the desktop version so you can retain those old records and eliminate the recurring monthly fees.

Firm Differentiation. How to Attract New Clients,and the Post-Wayfair Trusted Advisor Role.


See inside October 2018

October 2018 Tax Channel

Top 10 Signs of Tax Data Theft By Isaac M. O’Bannon, Managing Editor Tax professionals need be be alert to the subtle signs of data theft. Cybercriminals often leave few signs of their burglary until the fraudulent tax returns are filed and clients are harmed. This is one more reason tax professionals should use strong […]


October 2018 Payroll Channel

The lunch "hour" may be a concept of the past, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. More than half of workers (56 percent) said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less.