So you wanna be a Cannapreneur?
5 Ways to be a Cannabis Entrepreneur
We consider ourselves to be very fortunate to be in the cannabis industry and work with some of the best clients around. One of the best things about this business is there’s plenty of room for everyone! We laud our sisters (and brothers) who are looking to enter the industry and make a go of it. Here are some of our musings if you're thinking about getting into the biz…
Get Into CBD (Hemp or Cannabis)
CBD sales are predicted to grow to $2.1 billion by 2021, but the final figure will likely be even higher than that. Because CBD isn’t as regulated as THC, it’s more available in states with stricter bans on recreational products with higher levels of THC. And with the recently passed Hemp Farming Act, there’s even more opportunity for entrepreneurs to get into the mix by creating Hemp CBD products.
With nearly 30,000 cannabusinesses out there, it makes sense to team up with a partner whose strengths complement yours. Look for opportunities to share space, ideas, and partner with like-minded people. This may mean the difference between sinking and swimming as the cannabis industry ebbs and flows.
Running a business is not cheap. Given all the state taxes and regulations, new cannabusinesses contend with high costs just to enter the market, let alone sustain as the rules keep changing. As great ideas are born and brought to the next round of funding, cannabis companies need to stay nimble and can’t always hire a full roster of full-time talent to handle operations, marketing and PR, and financials. Often, founders end up wearing all of these hats and burning out.
There’s a better way. Hire short-term contractors as consultants (like the 4twenty Group!), so your company can gain access to the skill sets needed for success, which is a great workaround to hiring a full-time team on a shoestring budget. Consultants in search of clients, post your resume on job boards like Ganjapreneur, Cannajobs, Weedhire, or others (there are many) or work with a cannabis recruiter like Vangst or Ms. Mary’s Staffing. Or better yet, get out there in person and attend local cannabis events. Word-of-mouth referrals will always be worth their weight in gold so make friends with like-minded cannabis business owners and employees.
Focus on Story & Style
From a brand’s social media presence to the interior of a dispensary, it’s a vibe. Specifically,
modern cannabis consumers are working professionals, parents, people in their 80s – and are looking for products that won’t brand them as “stoners.” With the plethora of products in the marketplace that are chic, discreet, and classy, how does one stand out?
Our number one piece of advice? Be authentic. If you and your team share a value of using green production methods, tell consumers why that’s an important pillar for your company. Consumer (and budtender) education is as important because these folks become your ambassadors out in the world. And be bold. We won’t know unless you tell us the values that propel your company forward. Make sure your story is infused into every aspect of the brand’s presence.
In addition to CBD, studies have shown that smoking cannabis is on the decline when compared to other methods of consumption. Forbes writes that California cannabis consumers alone spent $180 million on THC-infused food and beverages in 2017. The Specialty Food Association also named cannabis-infused dishes as one of the hottest trends of 2018. So, whether it’s edibles, tinctures, or some kind of concentrate including Hemp-infused products, think about how you can get involved in this rapidly growing slice of the market. Think outside the box, too, with creams, lotions, lubes, bath bombs and other ways for people to luxuriate in cannabis without needing to smoke it.
So, there you have it. Our top five things to watch for if you’re thinking about diving in. Better yet, don’t watch, but go do! And the 4twenty Group has got your back – let us know how we can support you. And feel free to share your story with us. We’d love to hear your journey.