The legal marijuana industry has come a long way in a very short time. And savvy entrepreneurs, even venture capital companies, see this emerging market as their next big money maker. Why? In a report published by ArcView Market Research, the industry is projected to generate a massive $21.8 billion in total annual sales by 2020.
The Current State of the Industry
Right now, twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, either adult use (also know as recreational) or medical. It’s also on the ballot in 9 states for a November vote. California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana, is one of these states. Advocates of recreational marijuana hope to succeed after suffering a 53.5% to 46.5% defeat in the 2010 election.
As for sales, ArcView reported an increase of 17% in 2015 over 2014, to $5.4 billion. And by the end of 2016, sales will likely grow another 25% to $6.7 billion. Calling it a “green rush” is an understatement, and there’s a lot of money to be made if a company has the ability to navigate an industry fraught with regulations and pitfalls.
So, how do you capitalize on this unprecedented market opportunity? Many find that partnering with a cannabis consultant is the surefire way to succeed.
How Important Is a Cannabis Consultant?
Many entrepreneurs have gotten their commercial cannabis enterprise off the ground on their own. If you were to decide to go this route, you’ll face licensing and legal hurdles, ongoing scrutiny by state regulators and the IRS, as well as delays caused by a trial and error method of setting up operations.
To streamline the start-up process, another other option is to partner with a cannabis consultant. Their experience can help you plan, launch and operate a highly successful medical or adult use cultivation, processing or dispensary operation – all without the headaches.
While raising enough capital and securing licenses are well-known obstacles, that’s just the start. Here are just a few other issues that commercial cannabis enterprises face today:
- The industry is highly regulated by local laws and all aspects of the business will be scrutinized.
- Because it’s illegal at the federal level, dispensaries are cash-only, requiring security logistics.
- Due diligence is required when hiring employees, bringing on investors and cannabis cultivation.
The Role of a Cannabis Consultant
An experienced and knowledgeable cannabis consultant will be able to help you at every step, from planning and licensing, to hiring and training the right staff, ensuring consistent cultivation, and staying in compliance with state rules and regulations.
The right cannabis consultant will bring a proven, turn-key business model to the table, enabling you to produce a quality product via cost-efficient production methods. The model should be risk-averse and reduce your overall exposure. And it should allow you to recoup your investment while continuing to be competitive in a quickly evolving marketplace.
For current owners of a commercial cannabis enterprise, a consultant can play a key role in improving overall profitability. They should be able to customize a plan that aligns with your goals and meets your unique needs, helping you improve yields, consistency, quality, and efficiency.
Below is a quick checklist of what it takes to open a fully compliant, medical and recreational cultivation and dispensary operation. When meeting with a prospective consulting partner, be sure they have the ability to guide you through each of these areas, using proprietary approaches that maximize outcomes.
Planning Your Operations
- Business plan/financial guidance
- State application support
- Facility layout/design
- Cannabis cultivation
- Operations planning
- Hands-on cultivation training
- Standard Operating Procedures
Launching Your Business
- Facility design and build-out
- Guidance in hiring
- Hands-on staff training
- Employee documentation/handbooks
- Inventory control
- Daily operations best practices
- Managing a cash-only business
- Security logistics
- Daily procedures, open to close
Ensuring Your Success
- Hands-on staff training
- Patient/customer record keeping
- Ongoing guidance/support
Choosing the Right Marijuana Consultant
Let’s recap. You’re looking to grab your share of a lucrative emerging market. You now understand the need for a cannabis consultant, as well as what role you can expect them to play in your business.
Now, here’s the most important part – finding a consultant you can trust.
They will be helping you make decisions that could have a dramatic effect on your business. Your first rule of thumb is to be wary of anyone that promises you the sun, moon and stars. Just like any other business, a commercial cannabis enterprise takes work and focus. If their claims of easy money sound too good to be true, they probably are. Don’t fall for it.
Along with being able to provide a solid plan and guidance through all of the areas listed above, your cannabis consultant should possess the following:
- A deep understanding of this emerging industry, including state-specific laws and regulations
- A proven track record and positive reputation, both in and outside of the industry
- The ability to deliver quantifiable results that meet or exceed original expectations
- A belief in open communication and a hands-on approach to partnering with you
Be sure to do your research, check references and have a conversation with prospective consultants. Because you’re going to be working closely with them on a long-term basis, even personality and rapport should be factors in your decision.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?
Since 2013, the legal marijuana industry has grown by an extraordinary $5.2 billion. And as both medical and adult recreational usage clear hurdles with voters, increasing competition for a stake in tomorrow’s billions will require cannabis entrepreneurs to optimize every facet of their business from day one.
This is where Medicine Man Technologies, a full-service cannabis consultancy, excels. As a publically traded cannabis company (OTCQB: MDCL), we work with groups who have the resources, connection and desire to enter the market but lack the technical expertise to plan, launch and operate a successful and fully-compliant commercial cannabis enterprise. We also offer our proprietary Cultivation Max™ services to help existing operators improve yields, consistency, quality, and efficiency.
If you’re looking to break into the market, Medicine Man Technologies is here to guide you.