How To Start A Cannabis Business

3 jars full of cannabis hemp
Dr. George Stantchev
Dr. George Stantchev

PHD, MBA, MSEE, Entrepreneur and CEO of most innovative extraction technology company

The marijuana plant, also known as cannabis sativa, is known for its beneficial healing properties. But despite being used for thousands of years, the perception of marijuana as a gateway drug to harder substances such as heroin and cocaine has led it to its classification as a schedule 1 substance. Thankfully, most states today have reassessed how they view marijuana and have legalized or decriminalized usage of the plant and drug in some way or form.

These days, people are using marijuana to relieve pain, relax, increase socialization skills, and generally have a good time. The two compounds mainly associated with marijuana are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) both have properties that are beneficial to a person’s health. THC can positively impact a person’s central nervous system and alter one’s perception, emotion, and cognition. Meanwhile, CBD’s lack of psychoactive properties is made up by its medicinal characteristics and is being used to treat different disorders. Due to the myriad of health benefits that marijuana has, it has gained popularity among Americans today. So much so that the sale of cannabis in the U.S. hit a record $17.5 billion this year.

Without a doubt, there’s never been a better time to join the cannabis industry. In this post, let’s talk about how you can start a cannabis business, as well as ensure the success of your venture.

5 Steps to Starting a Cannabis Business

1. Figure out what kind of cannabis business you want to start

The key to having a successful cannabis business is knowing for certain what kind of venture you want to have. The main types of businesses involved in cannabis are dispensaries, grow operations, and edible sellers. Decide which sector of the marijuana industry you want to join and try to create a venture that fills an unmet need in order to build a loyal and thriving customer base.

2. Create a clear and detailed business plan

The next step to having your own cannabis business is creating a business plan. Because cannabis is a highly-regulated industry, your business plan will need to be exhaustive and concise. For one, you should ensure that your business plan considers federal and state laws. In addition, it should also specify how you can run your business by detailing your business costs, marketing strategy, and supply operations.

3. Register your business and obtain necessary permits

After nailing your business plan, you should choose a business entity that works best for your new venture. It’s important to get this right since this will dictate the taxes you pay, as well as the level of legal risk you’re exposed to. Some popular options for small businesses today are limited liability companies (LLC) and corporations.

In addition, you should also acquire the business licenses, permits, and registrations that will allow you to legally run your cannabis venture. Because cannabis is not legalized on a federal level and each state has varying laws with regard to marijuana, you’re going to need to do your due diligence and even employ the services of a legal professional in your state. This way, you can ensure that your business gets all the proper permits and complies with the law.

4. Find a way to raise enough capital

One downside to opening a cannabis business is that huge federal banks often deny loans to such businesses. This is because marijuana is not considered legal under federal law, and banks don’t want to be associated with ventures that involve it. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can raise capital for your business, such as angel investors, crowdfunding, and informal lenders.

5. Establish a brand identity that resonates with your market

Before launching your cannabis business, it is crucial that you know your consumer base and have created a brand identity that speaks to your target market. Doing so allows you to ensure that your products and services are being delivered to those who actually want them. To do this, you should first conduct thorough market research and competitive analysis. Then, you can work with a team of creatives and marketing professionals who know how to expertly build a winning brand identity.

2 Ways to Secure the Success of Your Cannabis Business

1. Sharpen your knowledge in business and entrepreneurship

As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a tricky industry to break into, with all the strict laws and regulations surrounding it. To ensure your success as a business owner, you should boost your knowledge of business and entrepreneurship. One way to do this is by enrolling in a business short course on a platform such as edX or Coursera. These will provide a good, cost effective overview on how to run a business. However, if you have time and money to spare and want a much more in-depth course then many of the country’s top universities offer online business courses. An online business administration degree is 100% remote and allows students to work to a flexible schedule, making them ideal for entrepreneurs who don’t want to take a three-year break from their business. These types of courses will help you develop your skills in economics, business law, statistics, and financial accounting, as well as enhance your competency in key business aspects such as management, human resource, and marketing. In today’s competitive world, where the startup failure rate is at 90%, taking the time to learn about business practices will give you an edge on your competitors and increase your chance of longevity.

2. Streamline your marketing strategy

In today’s world, there are plenty of ways to capture the attention of your target audience. One marketing strategy that you should employ is social media marketing. Social media can greatly impact your target market, so you should effectively leverage its power through carefully devised ads and campaigns. Another marketing strategy that can help you propel your cannabis business is search engine optimization. This allows you to generate visits to your website by helping your business become more visible on search engines such as Google and Bing. As more people visit your site, you will be able to build up a loyal community who will help spread the word about your products.

The world of cannabis is a very difficult industry to penetrate and thrive in. However, you can ensure the success of your cannabis venture by remaining vigilant of the laws and regulations concerned with your product, as well as having a good foundation in business and marketing.

Written by Alice Stacey Myrtle
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