Geoffrey Lawrence is a senior policy fellow at Reason Foundation.
Lawrence has broad experience as a financial executive in the public and private sectors and a decade as a think tank analyst. Lawrence was previously Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Players Network, Inc, the first fully-reporting, publicly-traded marijuana company to be listed on a U.S. exchange. Lawrence oversaw all aspects of compliance with state and local laws and regulations for the licensed cultivation operations across two states.
Prior to that, Lawrence served as the senior appointee to the Nevada State Controller’s Office., where he oversaw external financial reporting, covering nearly $10 billion in annual transactions, on behalf of the state. During each year of Lawrence’s tenure, the state received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers’ Association.
Lawrence spent a decade developing market-based solutions to challenges facing state governments while working at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and, previously, the John Locke Foundation in North Carolina. Lawrence has also written for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, with particular expertise in state budgets and labor economics.
Lawrence holds an M.A. in international economics from American University in Washington, D.C., an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Tax rates that elevate the price of legal marijuana significantly above black market prices prolong the presence of illegal markets and reduce government tax receipts.
Denying marijuana-related businesses the legitimate financial services available to other businesses prevents oversight, facilitates illegal sales, and may allow these businesses to conceal tax liabilities.
The history of cannabis regulation begins largely in California during the Gold Rush.
Best practices that policymakers should use for improving their existing marijuana markets or establishing new ones.