Just a few decades ago, opening a legal cannabis business seemed like a “pipe dream.” Indeed, if you were involved in the “cannabis business” back then, that probably meant you were working in the black market. Today, however, there are plenty of states where cannabis entrepreneurs could set up shop. Given this change in the legal climate, many “hemp hobbyists” have become interested in turning their passion for pot into a profitable career.
While working with weed may seem like a “breeze,” cannabis businesses have to contend with significant legal challenges and competition. Even though recreational pot isn’t federally legal, plenty of organizations are already capitalizing on the recent “green rush.” Anyone new to the cannabis business shouldn’t jump in without a solid game plan.
Four “Fire” Tips For New Cannabis Businesses
In this first of our “Cannabiz” series, we’re going to go over a few of the essential strategies for success in the constantly changing cannabis space. Keeping these tips in mind should set you up for a smoother ride through the bumpy business of buds.
Compliance Always Comes FirstCompliance is of crucial importance in the cannabis industry. Like it or not, cannabis is held to a “higher” standard than other products. Even if you’re dealing with federally legal hemp, you must ensure you stay well within your state’s legal code. Failing to abide by these rules will spell doom for your new cannabis venture.
Most states require cultivators, extractors, and distributors to use a “seed-to-sale” tracking system like Metrc. This standard protocol tags every cannabis plant with RFID codes to make each strain easy to follow throughout its lifecycle. States also have unique taxation and reporting policies you need to know before getting involved in this industry.
To save you headaches as you’re getting started, it’s a good idea to talk with cannabis attorneys in your area. Cannabiz owners should also set capital aside for a cannabis-specific point-of-sale system (aka POS). These hi-tech systems are designed to handle all of your state’s legal requirements in real-time. So, if your state suddenly changes its laws—which is quite common nowadays—your POS system should naturally adjust your paperwork.
Please take your time researching the many cannabis POS companies now available. Investing in a solid POS is the easiest way to keep your cannabis business compliant without cutting into your work schedule.
Write A Smokin’ Green Game Plan
You can't reach "Point B" if you don't have a good roadmap. We know, that sounds overly simplistic; however, you’d be surprised how many people rush into industries without a clear vision for the future. Before you start building the dispensary of your dreams, you must take the time to write a solid business plan detailing your goals and strategies.
Start by defining what purpose your business will serve in the local cannabis industry. How will your business be different from the many competitors in your area? What suppliers will you work with? When do you expect to profit from your investment?
Having a clear answer to all of these questions will put you on a firm footing once you open your business.
Which State Is Suitable For Your Cannabiz? — Choosing The Right Territory
One of the frustrating features of working in the cannabis industry is that there’s no standardization. As you travel across the USA, you’ll notice considerable variations in how governments handle recreational hemp and marijuana. The cannabis market in each state is also at a different stage of growth.
For instance, states like Colorado and Oregon are already saturated with cannabis vendors. Since these states have more lenient policies, they are incredibly competitive for someone who’s just starting out. By contrast, states that have yet to legalize weed have a lot of potential for future growth. On the downside, there’s no saying when your preferred state will flip green, so you have to be willing to wait it out.
When you’re evaluating where to set up your cannabis business, carefully consider your state’s legal standards and the market saturation. If you’re trying to get into an already competitive market, you’re going to need to find a niche that makes your brand distinctive. If you’re more interested in new markets, you need to stay on top of the latest legal developments and have all your paperwork ready.
Post Your Weed All Over The Web — The Importance Of Networking
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know!” The same applies to the nascent cannabis business. Nowadays, there’s no need for secrecy and discretion when building your weed brand. Quite the contrary, cannapreneurs must get as involved as possible with leaders in their local cannabis industry.
Luckily for newcomers, the Internet makes it so easy to connect with the growing cannabis community. Be sure to scope out reputable sites like LinkedIn for cannabis events and notable connections. Business owners should also look into cannabis-centric sites like WeedMaps and Leafly. Not only do these websites offer increased exposure, they also have partnership opportunities to expand your business’s offerings.
On the subject of brand awareness, consider investing heavily in your company’s website and eCommerce portal. Let’s face it; we’re all on our smartphones nowadays. If you want to connect with customers, you've got to offer more virtual options. We’re talking about live chat features, SMS texting, online ordering, and delivery services, to name a few. The more potential ways you could make an e-sale, the better.
Keep Those Cannabinoids In Check With A tCheck Scanner
As you’ll soon learn, most of the compliance issues related to cannabis have to do with cannabinoid percentages. Whether you’re involved in cultivation, sales, or extraction, knowing your strain’s cannabinoid counts is of paramount importance. Having clear cannabinoid screenings help state leaders verify your products are the “real deal.”
To help you keep accurate notes of your pot’s potency, tCheck has developed a portable hi-tech scanner specifically for cannabis. Whether you’re into extracts, edibles, or whole hemp flowers, our scanners can keep your cannabis in the clear. Find out more about how tCheck could help you on this page.