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Do you want to learn how to start a weed business? Cannabis is the fastest-growing industry in the nation. There are plenty of business opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. If you want to have the best chance at growing your marijuana start-up, our top 10 tips can help you break into the industry, the right way.
10 Steps for How to Start a Weed Business
1. Start Planning Early
Learning how to start a weed business is going to take a lot of planning.
If you want to start a legal cannabis business, you must have plenty of time to prepare for the application process. Even if your state has not opened the application window, you need to be on top of setting up your business plan and meeting the application requirements.
Since application windows are shorter than expected, it will help if you are already prepared.
2. Create a Business Plan
Part of creating a profitable cannabis business is developing a well-thought-out business plan. A business plan must contain an executive summary, market analysis, company description, a marketing and sales plan, facility operating plan, and financial projections.
Creating a complete business plan can help you impress investors and educate local officials.
3. Research the Competition
As the fastest-growing industry in the nation, the cannabis market is highly competitive. Before you start your weed business, understand the challenges of standing out from the competition. Make sure that your brand has plenty of selling points/differentiators to gain a sizable market share and keep customers coming back.
4. Choose the Right Location
Location is one of the most important parts of starting a cannabis business. You need to understand where your audience lives and if the location you are considering even allows for commercial cannabis activity. Research different locations and have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C so you have plenty of choices in case one does not work out.
Part of choosing the right location includes knowing where you can and can't be located. What are your particular state and local setback requirements? How far do you need to be away from a church or school? You may have found the perfect location, but it also needs to meet state and local regulations.
5. Understand the Licensing Process
Industry rules and regulations, particularly the licensing process and fees, vary by market. Every state has unique rules and regulations regarding the application process and annual licensing.
In some states, you must get local approval before applying with the state. Some licensing processes are merit-based, others use a lottery system, and some use both to award licenses.
6. Hire a Strong and Experienced Team
For the best chance of getting a business license, you need to assemble a solid team with an extensive background/experience in cannabis or a relevant field. One of the best hires you could make is a technical application writer who knows the ins and outs of completing a successful application.
Many licenses are merit-based, so showing that you have partners with experience in government compliance and operational efficiency in another market can help. In addition, you should be performing background checks on every single one of your team members to avoid any problems down the road.
7. Engage with the Community
A major part of gaining community approval and winning an application is to get involved with the local community. Attend city council meetings and develop a rapport with local elected officials to understand the community’s pain points and needs.
Engage with charitable and civic organizations and set up educational events to ensure you are doing your part to help in educating and improving the community.
8. Get More Funding Than Expected
Starting a cannabis business is very expensive. From application fees to annual license fees and more, you need tens of thousands of dollars just to start a business. If you do get approved and licensed, you'll have to pay lawyers, architects, accountants, consultants, real estate agents, and others to guide you through every step of the process.
Since cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance, traditional banking institutions do not commonly lend to these businesses. Instead, business owners have to turn to private investors and alternative financial institutions who work with cannabis businesses to obtain loans, cash advances, and venture capital needed to keep the business afloat.
9. Develop a Digital Marketing Growth Strategy
One of the key steps to learn on how to start a weed business is marketing, specifically digital marketing. If you plan on starting a cannabis business, you need a well-thought-out organic growth strategy for your digital marketing.
From creating a Google My Business page to enhance local SEO to creating regular blog posts using high-traffic keywords, there are many ways to improve your inbound marketing efforts.
10. Enroll in Cannabis Training University
Las but not least on our list of how to start a weed business is enrolling in an online educational program. Cannabis Training University is the best online training program for students of all skill levels.
No matter what type of cannabis business you want to start, our curriculum provides deep insight into every step of the startup process, from learning how to obtain a license and funding to creating an airtight business plan. Start your cannabis business today!