DOPE CFO, a company that provides accounting and training services to legal marijuana businesses and their bookkeepers, said Monday it has expanded to 26 states across the U.S.

The company, based in Bend, Oregon, focuses on providing education and expertise to cannabis businesses to help them avoid running afoul of the law, or Internal Revenue Service tax penalties. States where DOPE CFO is currently providing students with cannabis accounting, bookkeeping and financial advice and training include California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada and Oregon.

An increasing number of states and localities across the country have been relaxing the laws prohibiting use and sales of marijuana in recent years, legalizing it for medical and in some states recreational use, or at least decriminalizing it. However, since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, cannabis businesses have found it difficult to meet their tax compliance obligations, even as states have benefited from the extra tax revenue. Many banks also are fearful of accepting deposits and running afoul of money laundering laws.

DOPE CFO mainly provides information in the form of instructions, templates and libraries of documents about legal, tax, accounting and cannabis industry-specific issues. Its products include a DIY Dope Dispensary box, which provides financial knowledge and applicable skills to those who want to set up a cannabis dispensary.

DOPE CFO is led by a pair of CPAs, Andrew Hunzicker and Naomi Granger, who started the company in January. They want to provide guidance to cannabis professionals looking to open new businesses and accountants who are interested in attracting clients in the cannabis industry.

“We launched DOPE CFO in order to address crucial issues in cannabis by providing the industry with better trained financial professionals,” Granger said in a statement. “Any offense in cannabis taxes, accounting or bookkeeping can result in shutdown, or in sizable fees. We have discovered that many businesses don’t find out they’re in violation of regulations until it’s too late—when audits are already complete—and this is exacerbated by the confusion that comes with each state having vastly different regulations. Reaching 26 states with our educational program is a milestone that demonstrates the need for a program like ours.”

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.