April 30th publish date | SOURCE Dice

Cannabis is now a big, legal business in much of the United States.

Since California legalized its medical use in 1996, the industry that grows, packages, markets, distributes and sells marijuana has grown into a $10 billion-a-year business that employs more than 210,000 people, according to the web site Leafly. Industry executives say these pot-centric companies range in size from less than 10 employees to several hundred, with a handful counting their headcount in the thousands. Revenue ranges from the low millions to an estimated $100 million or more.

Despite all this momentum, cannabis as a business faces some unique challenges. For example, because the industry’s products are illegal in the eyes of the federal government, processes that are somewhat routine in other industries (such as estimating expenses for tax purposes or distributing product) can prove problematic.

For example, said Keegan Peterson, founder and CEO of Wurk, a cannabis HR management platform based in Denver, the IRS bans deductions of expenses related to retailing illegal substances. As a result, the costs related to operating and staffing dispensaries can’t be written off, but those related to growing the product can be. “There’s a lot of little nuances based on regulation both federally and state-by state-that requires a highly specialized solution to help solve them,” he said.

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