Photo of Douglas W. Charnas

Douglas Charnas is a Chambers recognized prominent corporate and tax attorney, who has also served as a lawyer for the Internal Revenue Service. He counsels clients on transactional and corporate issues such as taxation, formation and operations, service and lease agreements, international and domestic operations, and succession planning. He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School for more than thirty years teaching a course on S corporations and limited liability companies. Douglas's knowledge on how cannabis businesses' corporate structure impacts their tax treatment, as well as complex interstate, insurance, and dormant commerce clause issues, brings great value to the industry. His written content has been republished in multiple cannabis, insurance, regulatory journals.

Obtaining retail space for any small business is a big move. There are many issues to consider, and working with a knowledgeable real estate lawyer helps to avoid surprises down the road. This is especially true for a cannabis business for two principal reasons. First, cannabis businesses are highly regulated at the state and local level. Second, cannabis generally remains illegal at the federal level. A standard retail space lease is just not going to suffice. So, the question is, what does a cannabis business need to do and watch for when obtaining a retail space?
Continue Reading Podcast: Securing Retail Space for Your Cannabis Business (Episode 1 of 2)

Once rescheduling occurs (or possibly even before), the IRS may publish guidance on how rescheduling affects Section 280E and the deduction of marijuana-related expenses. In the meantime, cannabis businesses may consider working with their tax professionals on how best to time paying or incurring marijuana-related expenses, as well as to submit all necessary documentation to preserve their rights to obtain refunds for taxes previously paid under 280E.
Continue Reading Paid or Incurred: Marijuana Rescheduling, Taxes, and Section 280E

In late August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would recommend moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. In this episode, corporate cannabis attorney Daniel Shortt moderates a discussion with tax attorney Douglas Charnas and financial services regulatory attorney

Continue Reading Podcast: Tax and Banking Implications of Rescheduling Marijuana

A hard lesson was learned after cannabis was discovered in a suitcase at the airport: the government does not have to prove cannabis is marijuana to convict you of trafficking in marijuana. A new case recently clarified that the legal burden shifts and requires the accused to produce evidence that

Continue Reading Hemp in Your Suitcase Can Get You Convicted of Trafficking in Marijuana

The increasing number of states legalizing marijuana for both recreational and medical use raises critical questions regarding if and how insurance coverage should be made available with respect to auto or other general property and casualty insurance claims involving damages or injuries that occur when a person is under the influence of marijuana.
Continue Reading Ohio Appellate Decision Tackles Excluded Coverage For Marijuana Use

Tax season is nearly upon us. As cannabis businesses and the professionals who advise them can expect, navigating the variations and even direct conflicts that exist between and among the state and federal authorities that govern a cannabis business’s respective tax filings can be treacherous.
Continue Reading Tax Win in Oregon Reminds Cannabis Businesses to Properly Classify Expenses

Have Marijuana Residency Licensure Requirements Gone Up In Smoke?

For a variety of reasons, many states that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana have imposed residency requirements throughout their regulatory schemes, meaning that marijuana license holders, employers, and, in some cases, even consumers, must be residents of the state. However

Continue Reading Maybe You Can Play In the Sandbox If You Don’t Live in the Neighborhood