Starting a cannabis business in 2015

This is a basic overview of starting a cannabis business in 2015.

The “Green Rush” is on.  Many states have already changed their cannabis laws in favor of retail and commercial productivity.  Many states are currently working on the same.  Here is a list of the present laws pertaining to states that have liberalized cannabis laws.    re;  http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881

Now that there is a lot of new opportunity, you need to know how to proceed to utilize the opportunity.  You want a cannabis business, right.   If not, may your pursuits be blessed none the less.  For those who want to get more information on what it will take.  Please consider the following.

Forbes recently wrote an article labeling Cannabis as 2015’s best startup opportunity.  There is a lot to learn from this article, which may help you decide if this industry is for you.   Ref;  http://www.forbes.com/sites/caroltice/2015/02/05/why-legal-cannabis-is-2015s-best-startup-opportunity/

Lets go over the basics.  You are going to need to do a lot of research, to make the decisions that are to follow.   Which state is best for your business model?  What are the laws that govern your potential business?  What are the startup cost.   Which is why the first step should be to write a business plan.

There are a lot of places online that will guide you through this process for free, or you may want to hire a lawyer.  To give you some leads on what route to take, I will share my google search with you;  Free Online Business Plan Free

I have known associates who were very happy with enloop.com and there are many others out there.

I recommend at very least, running this buy a savvy lawyer after you have written up a good draft of your business plan.

After you have finalized the business plan, you will next need to locate a place of business.  In most states, there is a buffer that needs to be in place from certain types of properties.  For example some municipalities and states require cannabis businesses to be at least 1000 feet away from a school, and in some municipalities and states it is 1000 feet away from a residential neighborhood.   This is where your original research will come in to play, because you will need to factor your rental costs and overhead into your business plan.  So when you are writing your business plan, you should be in search of your future place of business and the regulations involved with establishing that business.

Another consideration that is very important, is will you start a for profit business, or a not-for-profit business?  A lot of this will depend on what state regulations require.
Learn more here;  http://www.cannalawblog.com/how-to-open-a-cannabis-business-for-profit-vs-not-for-profit-that-is-the-question/

After you have made your business plan, located your future place of business.  The next thing to consider is sources.  Are you going to consign your products in a retail store?   Or will your product be produced onsite?  Or will you be the manufacturer?  Sources will also play a role in writing a good business plan so that you can better project profit and loss.

Some where along the way you will need to consider a short term and a long term plan for funding.  Take note, your business will not be profitable right away.  So estimate for at least one year of out of pocket expenses and for as long as 3 years for out of pocket expenses.   This is not a “get rich quick” scheme by any means.  It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make this and any business work well.

Are you going to fund the venture yourself?  Will you need financing?  Have you thought about crowd funding? A crowd funding company that I recently learned about was created by anti-virus guru John McAfee, ref;  https://www.qikfunder.com/

Eventually you will need staff.  Are you qualified to manage a staff, or will you be hiring a manager?

As for tracking sales, and employee time on the clock, you should consider a “dispensary management software” or a “Point of Sale” software.
We have installed OpenBravo POS in many dispensaries throughout the years.  Ref:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openbravo#Openbravo_POS

There are other much more expensive software out there.  But there are also some awesome opensource options.

Some will allow you to track employee’s time.  Some will allow you to control and track inventory.  Some have both front and and back end features.  It all depends on what your business model requires.

One more touchy subject, is how to accept payment for product.  Many have had negative experiences dealing with traditional banking.  Some people have had their bank accounts frozen or seized.  So the other options that I can think of that would be highly effective is CASH and BITCOIN.  Cash also has it’s limitations, based on it’s tangibility and lack of digital access without a bank account.  But Bitcoin seems to be a perfect transaction currency for cannabis businesses.  I wrote an article about this problem back in 2013, ref;  http://xcannabis.com/2013/10/how-to-use-bitcoin-in-the-real-world-and-in-the-black-market/

Hopefully this has given you some ideas that you hadn’t thought of.   Soon I will write an article strickly about starting an industrial hemp business, after the crop has spent more than 56 years being illegal to grow, but legal to import and sell.

If you would like a personal phone consultation from an expert who has assisted the start up of dozens of medical cannabis dispensaries.  Write to:  info@xcannabis.com  and ask for a consultation, and we will give you a quote.

 


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