CJBS Cannabis Accounting Services

Cannabis CPAs Who Care: As your partner for innovative cannabis tax and advisory solutions, we tailor our products and services to meet your unique business’s needs. Whether you’re a cannabis cultivator, processor, and/or dispensary, our expert team is here to help you grow and scale your company in an industry with great potential and challenges.


Why CJBS?

The cannabis industry continues to grow rapidly, and the use of medical and adult-use cannabis, hemp, and CBD is more popular than ever.

In 2021, legal cannabis sales in the U.S. alone topped $25 billion and are projected to grow to $42 billion by 2026, according to BDSA.

Cannabis legalization in Illinois and across the U.S. continues to drive record sales. Yet, while cannabis has gone mainstream, it’s still not legal on a federal level, and cannabis laws vary by state. What’s more, cannabis is largely a cash business, and the industry faces regulatory hurdles and a higher risk of IRS audits. All that adds up to a tricky legal and financial landscape.

CJBS’ Cannabis Practice isn’t simply an add-on service to our accounting firm. We are immersed in this space and deeply committed to helping our clients succeed within this burgeoning industry.

The CJBS team—led by Senior Partner Matt Bergman, CPA and Partner Ryan Guedel, CPA—has a proven track record of partnering with cannabis cultivators, processors, and dispensaries across the U.S. to help them grow and scale their businesses. With expertise ranging from big-picture cannabis business strategies to complex tax compliance issues, we get to know your business inside and out and help you plan for long-term success. We understand that the world isn’t black and white–we’re navigating in a world of gray. That’s why, unlike firms that offer cookie-cutter solutions or stock answers, we provide you with a custom playbook for your cannabis business.


Our Core Values Guide Everything We Do

Guided by our five core values—trust, collaboration, creativity, integrity, and transparency—we partner with our clients to provide cannabis solutions that fit your unique needs.

Trust

Trust is essential to all our work, but the stakes can be especially high for cannabis businesses, which face a higher risk of bankruptcy and IRS audits.

Collaboration

Close collaboration with our clients, matched with consistent and proactive communication, ensures that we’re always providing you with the insights, tools, and tactics for your cannabis tax and accounting needs.

Creativity

Creativity allows us to solve our cannabis clients’ unique challenges, such as having few traditional banking options and no bankruptcy protection.

Integrity

Our firm is guided by our employees’ integrity. In a burgeoning industry like cannabis, it is more important than ever to hold ourselves to high ethical standards, and follow through on what we say we’re going to do.

Transparency

We operate with transparency by communicating to our cannabis clients with unwavering candor, honesty, and respect.

Steve Weisman, Former Owner and CEO

Matt has a great knowledge base that spans general accounting as well as a detailed understanding of our Cannabis-specific issues. He offers definitive answers, not caveated or wishy-washy. It speeds things up and is productive so that accounting is never a drag on the business.

Steve Weisman
Former Cannabis Owner and CEO
Olya Zahrebelny, The Z Group

I have been a client for almost three decades now. CJBS makes my life easier as Matt understands everything about my business and personal financial situation, needs and goals.

Olya Zahrebelny
Owner at The Z Group
Ari Greenwald, Impact Farms

CJBS helped our cannabis company through initial startup planning, Quickbooks setup, and ongoing consulting. They are always quick to respond, reasonably priced, and experts in their field. HIGHly recommend for any cannabis company wanting to exist in the long term.

Ari Greenwald
Impact Farms
Corey Kaplan, Semper Fi Printing LLC

Ryan Guedel is the reason we remain a client at CJBS.

Corey Kaplan
President of Semper Fi Printing LLC
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow

Your Cannabis Accounting Experts

Matt Bergman, CPA and CJBS senior partner, has been with the firm since 1997 and has specialized in cannabis accounting and tax services since 2015, when an existing client won a license under the Illinois medical cannabis pilot program. Matt worked hand in hand with them to help grow and scale their business safely and efficiently. That business grew rapidly and was soon acquired by one of the country’s largest MSOs (multi-state operators), and they remain a CJBS client to this day. Matt works with clients from small start-ups to the country’s biggest MSOs. After growing up in Deerfield, Ill., and Boston, Mass., Matt lives in Wilmette with his wife, two children, and two dogs.

Ryan Guedel, CPA and CJBS partner, has been with the firm for 10+ years, and currently works with clients in cannabis, real estate, manufacturing, construction, and distribution. Ryan coordinates due diligence engagements, carries out audits and reviews, and works on business development and taxation for the firm. A devoted professional, Ryan gives his all with each and every client interaction. His personal motto is “hard work and more hard work.” Ryan currently resides in Wheeling, Ill., with his wife Julie, son Cole Jameson, and rescue dog Pinky. He likes the area for its proximity to the CJBS offices. His hobbies include cheering on the NY Yankees, mixed martial arts, and motorsports.


Cannabis Tax and Accounting FAQs

How does IRS Code 280E affect my business?

This decades-old federal statute remains a big challenge for cannabis operators today, as it limits companies’ ability to deduct typical business expenses from their federal taxes or claim certain tax credits. We leverage our extensive industry experience and deep knowledge of cannabis tax laws to ensure you remain compliant and can focus on growth.
It’s important to work with an expert who understands the nuances of section 280E and has extensive industry experience. Your cannabis accountant should also understand the different approaches for calculating your cost of goods sold (COGS) and know whether you are required to use 471 or can use 263a, for example. Finally, ensuring you have the proper ownership structure for your company and the possibility of creating multiple entities so that not all are subject to 280E is vital.

How is banking different for cannabis businesses?

Without traditional banking options and with large cash transactions, some cannabis businesses must submit IRS Tax Form 8300 to record cash handling for amounts of $10,000 or more. Unfortunately, many companies are unaware of their obligation to complete this form—and that’s where we see the IRS pursuing them for failure to file penalties. Completing this form late is far better than not completing it at all—potentially saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in IRS penalties.

What is the process for setting up Internal Controls for my business?

Non-Cannabis companies have traditional federal and state tax compliance needs (federal, state, sales, local). Cannabis companies add to those requirements by requiring intense and intricate inventory reporting to meet state compliance. (While reporting rules differ from state to state, CJBS is well versed in compliance reporting requirements in states across the U.S.) Every seed and leaf must be accounted for throughout the entire growing and manufacturing process, which can be very cumbersome if not approached in the right manner. CJBS can assist with these detailed reporting requirements to make sure cannabis operators comply with all current state regulations. This allows operators to focus on what they know—cannabis.

How is compliance in cannabis different than other industries?

Cannabis compliance reporting requirements differ in that they involve producing financial statements and inventory analysis, showing your business is upholding safety standards, and helping you keep your license in good standing. (While reporting rules differ from state to state, CJBS is well versed in compliance reporting requirements in states across the U.S)

News & Updates

Stay current on the latest Cannabis industry developments and find out what it means for you and your business.

How CJBS Helps Windy City Cannabis Make Quick and Experience-Driven Decisions 
Image is not available
How CJBS Helps Windy City Cannabis Make Quick and Experience-Driven Decisions 
In the early days of Illinois medical cannabis legalization, licensed cannabis retailer Windy City Cannabis needed assistance in setting up their business for success during the growth of the medical market, and eventually, the launch of the state’s adult-use market.  Windy City’s former parent company–while growing rapidly–didn’t have a dedicated in-house finance department, so they
Is Your Cannabis Tax Credit Worth a Higher Likelihood of Being Audited? 
Image is not available
Is Your Cannabis Tax Credit Worth a Higher Likelihood of Being Audited? 
Taking credits can raise flags with the IRS–and audits can be time-consuming and costly. Here’s what to consider before opting to save a little extra at tax time.  Should you take a tax credit if it means your cannabis business will have a greater chance of being audited?  “It depends,” says CJBS Partner Ryan Guedel,
16 Tax Tips for Cannabis Operators in 2023
Image is not available
16 Tax Tips for Cannabis Operators in 2023
A comprehensive round-up of tax pointers for plant-touching businesses in the cannabis industry from CJBS Senior Partner Matt Bergman, CPA.  Cannabis’s federal illegality and stringent regulations for state-legal businesses make taxation in the cannabis industry difficult to navigate–and that’s an understatement.  CJBS Senior Partner Matt Bergman, CPA, knows these complexities well, having operated in the
How Cannabis Operators Can Improve Their Data Security
Image is not available
How Cannabis Operators Can Improve Their Data Security
Internal controls are procedural safeguards put in place to protect access to financial information and transactions.  Setting up internal controls is critical for any business to prevent fraud, but it is even more important for cannabis operators–as the industry is especially susceptible to fraud.  We discuss internal controls in detail in this webinar with Partner
Adult-Use Cannabis Is Now Legal in Minnesota: Here Are Some Business and Financial Tips for Hopeful Operators 
Image is not available
Adult-Use Cannabis Is Now Legal in Minnesota: Here Are Some Business and Financial Tips for Hopeful Operators 
On May 30, Minnesota joined 22 other U.S. states in legalizing adult-use cannabis.  Building off of a strict medical cannabis program with only two operators and 15 dispensaries, hopeful cannabis business owners will have the opportunity to enter an uncapped license market to provide adult-use cannabis to adults aged 21 and older.  By 2027, annual
Cannabis Fraud Prevention: Internal Controls Businesses Should Never Operate Without 
Image is not available
Cannabis Fraud Prevention: Internal Controls Businesses Should Never Operate Without 
The cannabis industry is especially susceptible to fraud, not only because of the stigma the industry still faces, but also because state-legal businesses are still so new and are growing quickly.   Yet when fraud hits your business, it can be devastating to your finances as well as your reputation.  Fortunately, there are steps you can
Proper Internal Controls Are Key to Preventing Cannabis Industry Fraud
Image is not available
Proper Internal Controls Are Key to Preventing Cannabis Industry Fraud
Here, we outline ways your cannabis business can safeguard against internal and external fraud attempts.  Cannabis is still a nascent industry—yet cannabis businesses throughout the United States have already seen their fair share of fraud. You may have heard the stories of internal theft, duped investors, cyberattacks, or inflated THC percentages on lab tests—the list
Your Cannabis Business Tax Planning Checklist
Image is not available
Your Cannabis Business Tax Planning Checklist
As the cannabis industry continues to grow, so does the need for proper tax planning. With constantly changing regulations and laws, it can be challenging for cannabis companies to stay up-to-date on their tax obligations. To ensure your cannabis company is maximizing their tax benefits while minimizing your liabilities, here is a comprehensive tax planning
How Cannabis Businesses Can Navigate Tax Season
Image is not available
How Cannabis Businesses Can Navigate Tax Season
Navigating tax season in a federally illegal industry can be complicated. The CJBS Cannabis Practice Team is here to help. In this 20-minute webinar recorded in February 2023, CJBS Senior Partner Matt Bergman, CPA and LKP Impact Consulting Principal Laurie Parfitt discuss what cannabis businesses need to know as they structure their business and prepare
Matt Bergman and Ryan Guedel: Cannabis CPAs Who Care
Image is not available
Matt Bergman and Ryan Guedel: Cannabis CPAs Who Care
CJBS’ Cannabis practice isn’t simply an add-on service to our accounting firm. We are deeply committed to helping cannabis business owners succeed in this emerging, challenging, and quickly evolving industry. Our team is immersed in this space, not only in Illinois’ medical and adult-use markets, but throughout the country. We’re constantly networking with industry leaders,
How CJBS Customizes Solutions For Your Cannabis Business
Image is not available
How CJBS Customizes Solutions For Your Cannabis Business
Whether you’re just starting out in the cannabis industry or are a multi-state operator — and whether you’re a cultivator, processor, or dispensary — our experienced cannabis experts tailor solutions to your specific challenges. Learn more from Matthew Bergman, CPA and Senior Partner below.
Growing Your Cannabusiness: Boosting Operational Efficiency — and Your Bottom Line
Image is not available
Growing Your Cannabusiness: Boosting Operational Efficiency — and Your Bottom Line
If you work in the cannabis business, you already know how fast-paced and complicated the industry is. Contending with tricky tax law and a high risk of IRS audits, along with limited banking options, are some of the constant challenges.  One challenge you might not be aware of is just how fast your cannabusiness is
How CJBS Helps Your Cannabusiness Manage Your Challenges
Image is not available
How CJBS Helps Your Cannabusiness Manage Your Challenges
Dear Clients & Friends,  There’s no doubt that cannabis is a big business, and the industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. A recent study forecasts that legal cannabis sales in the U.S. will reach $43 billion by 2025. Also by 2025, 42% of the total annual U.S. demand is projected to be met
Navigating Cannabis Tax Law: Minimizing Risk & Maximizing Deductions
Image is not available
Navigating Cannabis Tax Law: Minimizing Risk & Maximizing Deductions
Legal marijuana has gone mainstream, and the cannabis industry is experiencing a boom that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In 2020, global cannabis sales reached $19.7 billion. In the U.S. alone, sales hit a record $17.5 billion last year, according to cannabis market research leader BDSA.   Despite those huge numbers — and the