Going into the bud business? Getting started just may be the toughest part in this new industry, and it can become overwhelming looking for resources to guide your way. Below is a compilation of 10 must-have resources that will help you along your venture cannabist journey.
1. Cannabis Business Plan
Every business needs a plan, and for the marijuana business, your life depends on having all your ducks in a row. Having a business plan will help your chances of getting a dispensary application approved and will outline everything you need to have in order before you make the plunge into cannabis. If you want help on your business plan, there are plenty of template services out there that have a step-by-step outline. Don’t expect to get it for free, but there is value in having everything laid out before you, and you just essentially connect the dots.
I recommend visiting WeGrow. They have specific templates for over 9 different cannabis business plans.
2. Marijuana Lawyers
Okay I know everyone loves lawyers, but in cannabis business they just might become your best friends. With the laws being different state-by-state, you will not want to try and figure out what is right and wrong by yourself. Some of your highest startup expenses will be lawyer fees, but consider it a necessary evil to get your cannabis license. The good news is that lawyers specializing in cannabis are popping up all over the country.
Visit NORML for a list of cannabis lawyers by state.
Few people who are going into the marijuana biz have had previous extensive knowledge on the actual plant and how THC even works. I went into cannabis because of the profit potential, and it was something I believed in, even though I am not a regular user. Knowing how it all works is an essential part of understanding business. I’m not telling you to go out and smoke a joint right now, but I think educating yourself on marijuana is an obvious place to start before you get too far along with your business plans.
A great marijuana education source online LeafScience
Marijuana Chemistry is a good book about the basic science of cannabis
Finding the right employees can make the difference in cannabis, just as in any other company. Every business owner faces the daunting task of hiring people, and this can be especially hard at the beginning. It’s not easy to wade through a list of applicants, and making a decision after a few minutes conversation. For marijuana businesses, it may be even more difficult because the market is much more closed off, and not everyone can or wants to work at a company that is technically breaking federal law. There are some great resources that have a database for marijuana employers and employees. This can make your job a lot easier.
5. Playing By The Rules
Although you will be lawyering up pretty heavily, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the marijuana rules and regulations in your State of business. Knowing the rules ensures your business can stay open, and give you the information you need to make good decisions. Knowing your rights as a cannabis business owner probably will come in handy on more than one occasion. The clarity of cannabis law is already pretty foggy, so make sure you brush up on your knowledge of the law.
Find laws and regulations for your state HERE
If you are not already wealthy, or at least have 100-200k handy to start a dispensary 100% on your own, you may be looking for money. You probably have realized by now, finding money to fund your venture is fairly tough. You cannot traditionally go to a bank and ask for a business loan, because banks are not lending to marijuana companies due to a myriad of issues. Corporate image and federal law are a couple reasons your bank will probably escort you quietly out the back door. Therefore, private money is your friend, your more than likely high-interest friend (no pun intended). Lots of private funding groups for cannabis ventures have formed.
7. Real Estate
There’s no place like home, and a home can be hard to find for marijuana. You might have not though about the fact that you are looking for a place to borrow for your drug business. Even though you pay rent, landlords may become a little standoffish to backing cannabis growing facility or dispensary. The good news is the cannabis industry has yet again met a need in its own space, and vanity brokers for marijuana are popping up.
Check out 420realitybroker
There’s even a datatbase out there for those wanting to buy, sell, or lease a business and/or marijuana facility.
Every business owner needs a marketing strategy and a way of spreading the word about their ability to meet a certain need. With marijuana, you need a specific marketing plan, and sometimes knowing where to go can be a big challenge. You must find a client and an avenue for advertising that are cannabis-friendly, and willing to tout your product or service.
For web and video marketing try Marijuana Marketing Gurus
For a cannabis-marketing agency try Cannabrand
So you’ve opened a dispensary, or you have done a fantastic job of growing cannabis, and now you’re wondering how you’re going to supply your shop or sell your products? You need product to sell, and you need people to buy it, and that’s where suppliers come in. Finding quality suppliers that are reliable is important, and there are a few resources out there that make finding products and supplies for your dispensary easier.
dispensaryexchange connects vendors with dispensaries
For shop accessory, packaging, and labeling supplies visit 420packaging
Entrepreneurs and business owners need a place where they feel like their voice is heard. If you have an issue, problem, or idea, it’s nice to have a place to take it to. Many times other owners have had the same problems or ideas, and so they take it to an association. You are busy running your business, you do not have time to organize a rally, get signatures for a new initiative, or start a grass-roots cannabis campaign. So join an association and reap the benefits and perks of one organized voice. The benefits include political representation, networking, discounts, and more.