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CPAs and Cannabis

On March 15, 2018, Governor Inslee signed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5928 which related to making financial services available to marijuana producers, processors, retailers, qualifying patients, health care professionals, and designated providers as authorized under chapters 69.50 and 69.51A RCW; and adding a new section to chapter 9.01 RCW.

RCW 9.01.210(3) states:

“A certified public accountant or certified public accounting firm, which practices public accounting as defined in RCW 18.04.025, does not commit a crime solely for providing professional accounting services as specified in RCW 18.04.025 for a cannabis producer, cannabis processor, or cannabis retailer authorized under chapter 69.50 RCW.”

Accordingly, the Board will not initiate disciplinary action against CPAs that are compliant with our state’s self-imposed regulatory framework and remain free of other financially related violations of federal or state law.

The Board cannot provide an assessment of the spectrum of risks that CPAs potentially face if they choose to engage with clients who are involved in the cannabis industry.  Licensees are advised to seek their own legal counsel.