Cletus Smelly Eats Cannabis Stuffed Crow

Cletus Smelly Eats Cannabis Stuffed Crow

Cletus Smelly Eats Cannabis Stuffed Crow – some of you that know us well are aware that while aBIZinaBOX’s Cannabis Practice Group is known for “Mad Scientist Brilliant” technical analysis, particularly on tax issues that impact the commercial cannabis industry in California. We are also known for salty language, and biting sarcasm when we dig into opinions, opinionated practitioners, and mountains of gibberish and blather that should have never been foistedCletus Smelly Eats Cannabis Stuffed Crow on anyone’s eyeballs. We have said it before and state it again, just because a person can produce a blog and publish it doesn’t make them an expert [especially if their reputation is self-produced], or even worth reading.

We are known for a particular bias against that small minority of Enrolled Agents “EA’s” [not all Enrolled Agents, [We know some EA’s that are outstanding tax practitioners]. We know some others that are so deficient in both the education, and experience that the only position the Internal Revenue Service [“IRS”] would hire them for is File or Mail Clerk. [You can read more about “America’s Tax Experts – A Cruel Hoax” and the solution we proposed for that problem several years ago here.]

Let’s begin a rant which was published in CPA Practice Advisor[1] from a practitioner that Cletus Smelly admires like a deity.

“Please no more emails from accountants asking me to help them get into this industry. Figure things out for yourself. I have no interest in creating another competitor that will charge less than me. Today, I get at least two emails from professionals wanting into this business and want me to help them. As if I should create another competitor that will present themselves as an expert, know nothing, and cut my throat of fees? Why would I do that? Frankly, I like to stay ahead in this industry, and cannabis is getting too oversaturated for me. I will keep the clients I have, but honestly, I can’t compete in price with someone just starting that knows nothing, yet the client doesn’t know the difference. For this, my final article on cannabis taxation, get ready to get your mind blown.” Slack-Jawed Yokel and Blow Jobs[ are their own story].

It wasn’t only fellow tax pros that he didn’t like, let’s take a look at how he views his customers, business owners in the cannabis industry

“One word about the cannabis industry, don’t make the mistake thinking that it is a white-collar business. For every white-collar person there are nine non-white collar people, mostly getting out of the black market. If you BS these people, they will eat you alive. Most owners are packing guns and will remind you of that several times. Unless you are well known, they will test you over and over again. If you fail any test, then there is an unspoken rule that you could be killed. Cannabis is a very nasty business.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most owners are not business people. Do not condescend them, make them feel stupid, if you have to explain a complicated concept you need to break it down to its simplest terms. Most of the owners are coming out of the black market, and for all of this to pass muster with the taxing authority, you need to beat into the owner’s head that things need to be run exactly like you are telling them to, then you have to revisit”.

The next anecdote[2] is outstanding…we gain insight into how a Florida resident obtains a medical card to purchase cannabis and smuggle it back to Florida on a commercial flight.

“Speaking of licenses, I think that I am the only person that has a California Medical Marijuana License, for business. You can’t get into the clubs, and to my clients, without having one. How I got one was pay $50, tell a doctor that I had anxiety, sent a picture, and I got it in the mail a week later I would like to point out that I have used cannabis while I was recovering from surgery. The week before, I made a trip to California and stocked up.”

We must admit that even Cletus’s oracle seems to have had an epiphany between his first column in January and his latest in August [3] when he wrote:

“Cannabis is a very close-knit community where everyone knows everyone. Breaking into the industry is not as easy as you may think. First of all, you have to have some sort of angle. For instance, mine is that I have found a way around IRC §280e.

In addition, I act like a consultant. I have connections to get my clients banking. Further, most cannabis companies have a hard time finding financing, and legal help. Being the answer to all of these problems, as well as providing a tax solution is the key to success in cannabis. There can be a lot of money that can be made in this business, but you need to diversify yourself. For me, I am a consultant first with connections, and a tax person second. Further, there was a memo issued by the AICPA, warning CPA’s about the possibility of them losing their license for working with cannabis clients. There has been no such guidance on Enrolled Agents (EAs).

In short, breaking into cannabis is not the hardest thing to do, but you need to do your homework and know what you are doing.”

Once again, the Slack-Jawed Yokel has disrespected himself…making himself look dumber than we could have ever hoped to. In his own words[4]

“The way I took this guy’s comment was that this “Yankee Slicker” thought I was some Slack-Jawed-Yokel.”



[1] A Final Article on Cannabis and Section 280E, January 11, 2018, all references are to CPA Practice Advisor

[2] That California Cannabis Businesses Need to Know About Taxes, March 6, 2018

[3] How Accountants Can Get Started Serving Cannabis Clients, August 6, 2018

[4] When the Money Doesn’t Matter, May 22, 2018