Marijuana is now big business. Although it’s not yet legal in every state, more people than ever are enjoying marijuana without the stress of furtive buying and the fear of a lengthy prison sentence.
That means there’s a lot of money to be had for those entrepreneurs that want to take advantage of the cannabis boom. It is expected that by 2022, the marijuana industry will be generating up to $23.4 billion, and will employ as many as half a million Americans. For those with an eye on the future, that means that there is plenty of scope for launching a business that focuses on marijuana. However, as with all business ideas, turning them into reality is the challenge.
Choosing a Business Idea
If you’re thinking of starting a marijuana-related business, then your first thought was probably a dispensary so that you can make the big bucks. Before you head down that route, consider the fact that there are already lots of places to pick up legal marijuana, and that means competition is going to be tight.
There are plenty of other business opportunities to explore, so try and identify something that plays to your strengths. Some ideas include adding cannabis branding to:
- An out-of-the-way B&B or a restaurant
- Painting and creative classes
- Cooking classes
- Delivery services
- Selling snacks
- Florist (cannabis florists are becoming very popular for weddings)
Choose an idea that you would be happy to get deeply involved in for a few years. If you’re already in the restaurant trade, perhaps a change of ingredients is in order. Get more creative with your business ideas and you’ll stand out more.
The Business Plan
All businesses need a business plan, and yours is no different. There are plenty of guides available online to help you create the plan, but the important thing to remember is that your business plan is not a one-and-done action. It should be a living document that changes as you grow, and covers every aspect of your business model. One of the most important areas to focus on is how you are going to attract new customers. Marketing can be a big subject, but you’re going to need to learn a little about marijuana SEO if you want your business to be found. Take the time to get your business plan and your marketing strategy as fine-tuned as possible, and enlist help from professional specialists if needed.
Know the Law
Marijuana isn’t completely legal in America quite yet. If you don’t know your state laws then you may be putting in a lot of work only to get arrested. All business owners should get legal advice, but that’s particularly true for those opening a marijuana-based business. Make sure that you have legal counsel with experience in business law as well as a strong understanding of the legalities of marijuana use in your state. Your lawyer will be able to help you get registered, and help you choose the best type of entity (should you be a corporation or an LLC?). They will also be able to ensure that you have all of the necessary permits so that you can start trading quickly.
This is perhaps the most exciting and profitable time to get involved with the cannabis industry. Once the essential tasks are managed, you get to do the fun things like making sales and turning a profit. The sheer range of opportunities and the vast profits that are sitting there waiting to be had might be tempting, but make sure that you stick to these first steps if you want your marijuana business to succeed.