Things to remember when you're starting a cannabis business

Published Sep 19, 2021 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Galeanu Mihai

Congratulations on your passion and motivation to start a business in this hot new industry, but dedication to this endeavor is only the beginning. There’s so much to do in so little time which makes it easy to make rushed decisions that gloss over some of the things that should have your utmost attention, and all it takes is one misstep to move your whole business in the wrong direction. Luckily, you’ve got us to remind you of what matters most and all that you should know before you get started.

It’s a massive investment

The cannabis industry is big, and there is plenty of room for new players to get in the game, but getting started is a massive investment, one that’s a bit too large for the average person to handle themselves. That is why it’s so important to look at financial options for your startup, which might include loans or insurance to put towards your future business. It’s easy to do the basic cost versus revenue math, but when it comes to the little one-time purchases you’ll need to get started, they will add up so it’s essential that you’re prepared.

Skilled employees are more important than paying less

It’s easy to hire young and eager faces off the street, especially these days as it seems that pretty much everyone wants in on cannabis jobs, and they tend to be willing to do the same workload for less, but will that truly help your business to flourish? When it comes to customer service roles in weed, it pays to hire those who bring with them value from past experience, even if they do need a few dollars more per hour to show up each day. Knowledge is power. Cannabis users know this, and they expect no less from the industry.

Revenue margins are small

Cannabis is often touted as a sure thing of sorts and an easy business to get into, but most don’t realize that revenue margins are incredibly small in this industry, which makes it really hard to stay afloat and competitive. This means that you’ll have to get creative and really crunch those numbers if you want your cannabis business to be profitable, but success is practically guaranteed as long as you keep this annoying fact in mind.

It doesn’t always take a true stoner to succeed in weed, but having one on your side can help

You don’t have to be a seasoned cannabis enthusiast to respect and adore the many things it can do, but it does take the ability to think like a consumer if you want your cannabis business to stand out. That doesn’t mean you have to strictly hire stoners, who seem to know their way around a blunt. Still having at least a few on your crew can go a long way, especially when it comes to pitching business ideas that potential customers can relate to and feel good about.

Laws are always changing

It’s great that you want to start a business, but this market is a tricky one indeed, which is why it’s important to remember that the laws and rules surrounding all that you do could change at any time. Of course, certain niches are more foolproof. Still, those that touch the plant must be prepared to shift, adjust, and plan at a moment's notice because that might be all the warning you get when laws change.

Creativity is key

Everyone wants to own a dispensary, delivery service, website, or restaurant, but very few other unique cannabis businesses exist, and if you really want to make it big, then you should take it upon yourself to change that. The only real way to beat the competition is to outshine them, and the best way to do that is with a creative flair and business ideas that no one has ever thought of before. Start something new, blaze trails, make history, and become an essential part of the cannabis space in the future by being different.

Small cannabis business ideas for entrepreneurs


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