Dead, Alive, Comatose. Are healthcare cannabis collectives dead or alive? 


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DEAD – ALIVE – COMATOSE – Are healthcare cannabis collectives dead or alive?  What about healthcare cannabis cooperatives?  What about adult-use cannabis collectives and cooperatives?  Based on who you ask the answers will be, Yes, No or Possibly.  All 3 of these answers may well be right answers to all of these queries.  The queries are not as very simple as they seem to be.

Does it make a distinction if you ask a cannabis business professional?  Not at all!  We have concluded the phrase “cannabis business expert” may well be an oxymoron.  It seems to us that when it comes to the cannabis business, there may well be an inverse connection in between the quantity you spend for assistance and the worth of the assistance.  The much more you spend the significantly less useful the assistance relative to the price.  We are writing this post to give free of charge assistance to California’s cannabis business.



Totally free assistance can be readily ignored by these who would rather spend than feel.

1st, we want to make a short comment about the worth of free of charge assistance.  The statement “Free assistance is worth what you spend for it” is B.S.  The statement is false and misleading.  All assistance is worth what you make of it not what you spend for it.  As a consequence, free of charge assistance is the greatest assistance.  It charges you only a small time to listen or study the assistance.  If you can apply the assistance to boost your business enterprise or your life, you get a advantage that price you solely a small time.

The quantity you spend for assistance does not establish the worth of the assistance.  The much more you spend for assistance, the higher the advantage you have to safe in order to justify the price of the assistance.  If you take into account the indirect charges linked with assistance that you spend for, your investment of time, work and income primarily based on the assistance, free of charge assistance that is beneficial becomes somewhat even much more useful.


Healthcare collectives and cooperatives have been spawned by the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996.  More than a period of 20 years, the parameters for the operation of healthcare collectives and cooperatives in California acquired a semblance of definition via policies and practices, as properly as legal and political pressures.  Several queries relating to healthcare collectives and cooperatives remained unanswered when Proposition 64 added an further layer of confusion.

Proposition 64 preserved Proposition 215.  Proposition 64 added legal adult-use cannabis to legal healthcare cannabis, but with circumstances and limitations.  There is, of course, a logical conflict in between Proposition 215 and Proposition 64.  You can not each preserve a ideal currently granted by the California Constitution via Proposition 215, and at the very same time add circumstances and limitations via Proposition 64.  Proposition 215 collectives have been preserved in Proposition 64 but topic to circumstances and limitations that take away rights that have been granted more than 20 years ago.

A speedy instance will illustrate a single of the conflicts in between Proposition 215 and Proposition 64.  Proposition 64 imposes a Cannabis Cultivation Tax (“CCT”) and a Cannabis Excise Tax (“CET”).  Proposition 215 grants every single resident of California the ideal to “safe and affordable” healthcare cannabis.  As we noted above, Proposition 64 preserved the rights granted California residents below Proposition 215.  CCT may well be justified with respect to each healthcare and adult-use cannabis for the reason that developing either location the very same burden on the land.  It is our opinion the imposition of CET on healthcare cannabis conflicts with the “safe and affordable” language of Proposition 215.

Our free of charge assistance with regards to Proposition 215 healthcare collectives is that they are alive and properly.  Proposition 215 healthcare collectives are entitled to distribute healthcare cannabis to individuals on a nonprofit basis without the need of becoming topic to licensing for the reason that Proposition 64 preserved all of the rights of California residents below Proposition 215.  Precisely how they have to operate and what they can do is going to need at least ten years to sort out.  California has much more than its fair share of lawyers.  The conflicts in between Proposition 64 and Proposition 215 will at some point get sorted out, and California lawyers will make a lot of income in the meantime.


Although theoretically, you could apply for a license for a Proposition 215 healthcare collective, there is completely no purpose to do so.  A licensed healthcare cooperative is far less difficult to handle.  Of higher significance, a cooperative can do considerably much more than a collective and it offers substantial tax benefits.  A licensed healthcare cannabis cooperative has substantial tax benefits more than any other structure for the movement of cannabis from cultivator to customer.  Something a licensed healthcare cannabis collective can do a licensed healthcare cannabis cooperative can do improved.

Anybody who plans to be involved in California’ cannabis business in any capacity other than as an employee have to have a operating expertise of cooperatives in order to succeed in the extended-run.  These organizations involved in the legal movement of cannabis from cultivator to customer in California in the type of cooperatives have to be divided into 3 unique classifications.  The 3 classifications turn into six if you distinguish in between healthcare and adult-use cannabis cooperatives which you have to do to recognize the tax benefit of healthcare more than adult-use.

The 3 classifications are:

A Cannabis Cooperative Association (“CCA”) organized and operated in accordance with Title 10, Chapter 22, of the California Enterprise and Professions Code (“B&ampP”).  (B&ampP §§26220-26231.two.)

A CCA organized pursuant to Title 10, Chapter 22, but not operated in accordance with the limitations imposed on a CCA by B&ampP §§26220-26231.two.

Corporations organized below other provisions of California corporate law, like Nonprofit Mutual Advantage Corporations, Nonprofit Public Advantage Corporations, Basic Stock Corporations, Close Corporations, Restricted Liability Providers and Agricultural Cooperatives, that claim to be or think they are cooperatives.

Solely these organizations that fall into the initially category – CCAs – can safe the economic advantages of filing tax returns as cannabis cooperatives.  Why?  Solely CCAs can file federal revenue tax returns pursuant to Subchapter T of the Internal Income Code.  Most of the men and women involved in California cannabis business are not even conscious of Subchapter T.  In order to safe the economic advantages of a cooperative, an entity have to file federal and California revenue tax returns as a cooperative.


All is not lost for these organizations that have have been not organized or operated in accordance with B&ampP §§26220-26231.two.  In most situations, these organizations that are not organized and operated as CCAs will be capable to make modifications in their organizational and operational structures in order to safe the advantage of filing tax returns as cooperatives.  It may well prove pricey and tough, but it can be performed.

Readers will undoubtedly ask why do I have to adjust my organizational and operational structure.  I am undertaking fine at the moment.  Continuing to do factors as you have to date rather than adjust to a structure that is much more financially effective is a threat management calculation.  It is a calculation that must be routinely created with a complete understanding of the dangers involved or in a miscalculation of the dangers.  Different governmental agencies count on to obtain just about ½ of the income that buyers spend for cannabis.  A miscalculation of an entity’s tax liabilities more than a period of a year or much more will extremely probably turn a lucrative year into a substantial loss for the entity that miscalculates.  Several of our readers will recall the size of the hit that Harborside took for its revenue tax miscalculation.

There is a single other aspect of CCAs that we have to mention that may well tip the scale for some in favor of a reevaluation of the significance of converting an current entity into a CCA.  Enterprise and Professions (“B&ampP”) §26222.two offers:

“A individual, firm, corporation, or association, that is hereafter organized or undertaking business enterprise in this state, may well not use the word ‘cannabis cooperative’ as portion of its corporate name or other business enterprise name or title for producers’ cooperative advertising and marketing activities, unless it has complied with this chapter.”

As a consequence of the express language of B&ampP §26222.two, an entity organized below some other provision of California corporate law could operate as a cannabis cooperative but it could not inform any one it was a “cannabis cooperative” unless it was organized and operated pursuant to B&ampP §§26220-26231.two.  It defeats the objective of becoming a cannabis cooperative if you can not inform any one you are a cannabis cooperative.




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