How to Start a Cannabis Business

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The cannabis industry pretty much everywhere is booming, but there is still plenty of room for brand new participants to start up a cannabis business. One of the first things less experienced entrepreneurs WILL jump to is start-up ideas for a marijuana dispensary, but if you think just a little bit bigger you might be surprised at the number of opportunities out there.

As the anticipation builds, and the plans begin to flow, you will need to know how and where to start, and that’s what we’re here to help you do. With everything from stellar cannabis business ideas and opportunities to information on necessary licensing, you can learn all of that and more right here.

Cannabis business ideas

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Whether you are hoping to open in Canada or America, and want to establish a marijuana business, you should have a creative idea and a reliable business plan. You should also have an idea of the sector that you want to launch out into, as it can help with planning and preparing to set out on such an exciting new adventure.

One common misconception about the cannabis industry is that the best and most profitable section for a brand-new cannabis business is growing marijuana or opening a dispensary. There is so much more if you are into the food business, why not consider an edible line. This sector of the cannabis business in Canada is ready to explode. October 2019 started the second round of legalization in Canada and promises a wild ride for the cannabis industry.

Tourism and hospitality
The cannabis tourism industry is also primed for the cannabis business explosion. ‘Bud n Breakfast’ accommodations are becoming popular as the average cannabis consumer is now looking for a safe and relaxing environment to enjoy their marijuana while traveling across the country, and with so few pre-existing options, this is bound to be a successful cannabis business idea.

With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, there is now a vast number of new consumers who are looking for new methods of consuming cannabis. Vaping is one method of consumption that consumers view as healthier and safer than smoking a joint. The weed vape industry is a significant part of the cannabis industry that a new business may fare well in. The variety of pens to use for the consumer who enjoys a weed vape is enormous, as such the market that includes the sale of vape accessories has an excellent chance for succeeding.

Marijuana dispensary
You could open a marijuana dispensary that meets the needs of recreational and or medical consumers. Though there are plenty of basic storefront options across the country, one of the best ways to use this idea is to do things differently. Look at the legal marijuana dispensary options in your area and think of all the ways that they could improve, and then you should have a pretty good idea of where to begin.

Cannabis art
One of the sectors of the cannabis industry that has yet to be touched on is artwork. You can typically find some form of stoner hoodies or t-shirts that are relatively generic, but it takes a whole lot of work to find anything more creative than that. Think beautiful cannabis bouquets delivered right to your door or hand-carves pieces like wood grinders, pipes, or rolling trays, and in no time, you are bound to have a successful cannabis business.

Cannabis business opportunities

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When you choose a cannabis business opportunity rather than starting from scratch, you generally don’t have to put anywhere near as much research or money in to get started, which can help to simplify the process. To take advantage of these kinds of cannabis jobs you will need to look for a cannabis business or company that is offering something in your area. These positions can vary in scale, with some offering a shot at selling just their products, and others wanting help to build the size of their chain.

Chain stores
Chain stores are a hit in other industries, with big-name brands offering a reputation that can’t be denied. These could be head shops, smoke shops, dispensaries, and cannabis processing tool stores. One of the best parts about this opportunity is that the numbers are easy, and the decisions are made for you, so there is very little to do after signing on with a big player.

Everybody loves to get something fresh and new each month, and there are very few subscription services that cater to the wants and needs of the true cannabis enthusiast. Whether you offer pre-existing magazines or choose to personalize everything by designing a monthly offering to awaiting consumers, this is an excellent cannabis business idea.

Most people go to the doctor when they are sick, but not all of us are so fortunate to have a family physician that is on board with cannabis, and in those situations, consumers and patients need another option. You could be the stepping stone that provides that by starting a successful cannabis clinic, doing good for both yourself and your community.

Glass blowing
Glass blowing is quickly becoming a well-paid business idea, especially for those who have or know someone who has talent in the art of manipulating hot glass into breathtaking and efficient designs. Personalized glass pieces can run anywhere from $50 all the way into the thousands, which means that with enough skill, you could be running a one or two-person cannabis business that makes a small fortune.

Homemade décor/clothing
Sure, you can find Snoop Dogg apparel and other stoner gear almost anywhere, but it is rare to come across unique options, which is something that homemade things can offer. Whether you get into painting some psychedelic posters or stitching together some beautiful pot leaf gowns, there is a massive market available for the taking right now.

There are always new, and exciting cannabis business opportunities opening and these are only a small portion of the possibilities to consider. No matter which one you go after, don’t forget to add your own creative flair so that you can offer a truly one of a kind shopping experience that will keep customers coming back for more.


Types of licenses for cannabis business

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There are no requirements in Canada for anything beyond a normal business license if your idea or plan is only related to weed, but if you want to sell vaping juices, cannabis products, or grow marijuana, then you will need to get the proper permits to avoid getting into trouble.

The federal government has been clamping down on the vaping industry, so while at one time, anyone could sell vape juice as long as it didn’t have nicotine, now, retail stores must apply for a license that allows them to carry the products regardless of their nicotine content.

Cultivating marijuana plants is legal in Canada, but each person is only allowed a maximum of 4, which isn’t enough supply to properly provide for any successful cannabis business. So, if you want to get into the market by growing plants, then you will need to obtain formal licensing and permission by the federal government.

The licensing and regulations for selling cannabis fall to the provinces to decide upon, so it is important to look for more information based on your region. However, no matter where you are, you will require a license to operate a marijuana dispensary or to sell cannabis-infused goods.

According to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPT), which came into effect on October 17, 2018, patients who are authorized by their primary healthcare specialist and of legal age can buy their cannabis through a person who they have dedicated to growing plants for them. What this shift did was create a brand-new cannabis business sector, where regular everyday people can legally get paid to supply medical patients with their prescribed limit.

How to get a license

Opening a cannabis business can be a tricky process as there is no one ultimate license to open, and the certification that you do need will highly depend on where you would like to be located, so, unfortunately, there is no one way to apply for a cannabis business license. However, if you look at the list above, you will see who controls the regulations of each sector, which should give you a good idea of how to proceed.

The pros and cons of a cannabis business

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There is quite a bit to gain from taking a leap into the cannabis industry, but there are also some risks that everyone who is considering this idea should know, as it is important to consider both the positives and the negatives before investing in a cannabis business or opportunity.


  • Financially lucrative
  • Fun
  • New and exciting


  • Tough regulations
  • Some sectors are quite competitive
  • Start-up can be costly at first


One of the best resources out there is the big industry events that bring professionals from every part of the globe together to talk about how to start, manage and improve cannabis business ideas. There you will learn answers to questions that you didn’t even know you had and solutions for all your cannabis business needs.

How to Find and Apply for Cannabis Jobs


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