As cannabis legalization becomes more widespread, countless companies are getting involved by branching out into a new industry. Naomi Granger, COO and Co-Founder of Dope CFO is an entrepreneur who saw a void needing to be filled and has created a special training program for accountants who were not involved with cannabis to get to learn the ins and outs of a lucrative new niche. Here are her thoughts on why she took this path, where she sees the future going, and what she’s working on next.
Dope CFO Spotlight
Tell us about yourself. How / Why did you get into the cannabis industry?
I’ve been an accountant for over 12 years. I graduated with my MBA with a concentration in accounting and I obtained my CPA during my professional career. I worked in both public accounting and corporate accounting but it came to a point where I was tired of reporting to an office or a cubicle. I was tired of asking for permission to take vacation days or to take a doctor’s appointment. I was tired of being told what I was worth and when I was ready for a promotion. I felt like I was going to prison every day, I was required to sit in an office for no less than 9 hours a day. I wanted more freedom and flexibility in my life and in my schedule. I knew the only way to do that was to find a career or a business that I can perform from my laptop.
I tried a few business ventures, I honestly thought that I needed a career shift. I didn’t see how what I knew to be a career in accounting, could fit into the lifestyle that I was designing for myself. Then one day I stumbled upon a training program promising to teach me how to build a remote accounting practice. I signed up for the training and the main concept that I learned was that you must pick a niche and you must become an expert in that niche.
I explored a few niches, but I found many niches to be highly competitive and difficult to establish yourself as an expert. Many business owners are not very motivated to have monthly accounting work done and are just looking for someone to come in at tax time. They do not see the value in accounting services and thus, are not motivated to pay high accounting fees. Until I stumbled upon the cannabis niche. I learned about the cannabis niche and Andrew Hunzicker in the training program and as I started exploring the niche, I learned that the cannabis niche was under-served, full of motivated clients and easy to establish yourself as an expert in this brand new industry.
What sets Dope CFO apart from its competitors?
Dope CFO provides cannabis accounting training for accounting firms who would like to service the cannabis niche. There are many accounting training companies that teach the nuts and bolts of how to do accounting or how to market your firm, however, we have not seen any industry specific training that teach you how to do specialized accounting in any particular niche or how to market to a specific niche. Dope CFO assumes you already know to do accounting and that you are just looking for a plug and play system into the cannabis niche. We are the nationwide, premier training company providing accounting firms a huge shortcut to get started in doing accounting for cannabis companies.
What are some common misconceptions people have about your company?
Dope CFO is not a referral program. You will not find hours upon hours of video in our program, instead you will find a plug and play system containing all the workpapers you need to successfully work with cannabis clients.
What have been your biggest successes with the new cannabis industry?
In our first year we’ve worked with over 170 firms and helped them get a start in the cannabis niche. We gave them the background knowledge, the workpapers and the confidence needed to go out there and build a successful cannabis accounting practice. Our company has contracted and worked with a couple dozen ancillary businesses helping them get a start in the cannabis industry.
Describe your ideal customer.
A small accounting firm (single partner) who is ready to get started with servicing the cannabis niche but just doesn’t know how. A firm looking for a plug and play system to get them off the ground in this niche. A firm that is ready to go to the next level and understands they must invest in their education to get there.
Do you enjoy using cannabis?
We do not use cannabis.
In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit to legalized marijuana?
The health benefits are most important. Many people use the plant to treat various illnesses where western medicine is failing us. Legalizing the plant gives them a safe place to purchase the plant so they will know exactly what they are getting. Next step will be to allow people to use without the risk of losing their job during random drug screenings.
What do you believe the future of marijuana holds?
We believe federal legalization is around the corner. Once this happens, we will see tons of acquisitions and joint ventures with big corporations as they add cannabis products to their product offerings.
What are you working on next?
We are working on products for business owners and investors to help them get started in the industry.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thanks for the opportunity. We really believe this is the best niche for small accounting firms to get started in if you are looking to grow a big business. We have dedicated our life’s work to helping train accountants to build a successful practice in cannabis.
Thanks for sharing your story, Naomi!