The cannabis industry is expected to be worth $146 billion by the year 2025 according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. This forecast coupled with positive changes in marijuana legislation in recent years is making the marijuana market enticing for entrepreneurs. As of March 2019, recreational cannabis is legal in 10 states while medical marijuana is legal in 33.
If you are thinking of starting your own business venture in the cannabis industry, there are a number of basic reminders you need to follow. While it is true that the cannabis industry is flourishing, you could still land in some prickly legal and financial situations if you enter the market unprepared. Here are 3 security basics you need to remember if you want to sell marijuana products safely, efficiently and sustainably.
Don’t Get High On Your Own Supply
Thanks to popular stoner movies perpetuated by Hollywood, marijuana often brings to mind images of stoned teenagers engaging in reckless even dangerous behavior. Even if you yourself are a pot enthusiast who loves the buzz that marijuana brings and the nuances of different strains, you must learn to separate your personal life from your business. Don’t get high on your own supply is the most basic tip for marijuana entrepreneurs. It’s okay to try the product out yourself to understand its unique features and to build rapport with customers but always be responsible in your consumption and never let it get in the way of your business operations.
Imagine it this way, a bartender will never be able to properly mix drinks and convince customers to order more cocktails if he or she is drunk. Sobriety is important in the business, too, if you want to build credibility. Marijuana these days aren’t just sold for their recreational benefits but its therapeutic effects as well. People seeking medicinal cannabis products will want a supplier they can trust and who can give them proper guidance, not a stoned drug dealer who only cares about getting high.
Know Your Local Legislation
Although marijuana legislation is spreading like wildfire across the United States, it is important to note that cannabis laws vary across states and even workplaces. Just because marijuana is legal in your state does not automatically mean it is legal for consumption in work premises. In fact, some employers may still require their job candidates to pass a drug test. Read and research about the cannabis legislation in your city and the drug policies in the different companies. Some things to look out for in your local laws include the legal age of your customers, how many grams is allowed per transaction and where it is legal to sell and consume marijuana products.
Having an idea of local and state laws will give you important insight on the feasibility of your business, where and how you can sell your products and what marketing strategies you can employ. For example, states like Colorado allow marijuana lounges to operate. You can either open your own cannabis cafe or partner with an existing lounge as a supplier.
More importantly, awareness of the different cannabis laws in your area will help you avoid getting into problematic legal situations and fines. As a cannabis entrepreneur, it’s important that you help preserve marijuana’s reputation by becoming responsible and well-informed.
Have an Effective Security System in Place
All businesses must have a security plan in place and even more so for those in the cannabis industry because they are often put in the spotlight and their operations strictly monitored. That said, always make sure you have effective security measures in place in your dispensary. From the get-go, make sure you check the location of your dispensary and see if it is not in an area with notorious criminal activity. Another important tip would be to limit access to your supply to authorized personnel by storing your products in a locked area. Similarly, you might also want to have a personal tools such as a lock pick gun in case you accidentally lock your supply room or lose the key. You should also consider installing surveillance equipment like video cameras and alarm systems in key areas of your shop like in the entryways and halls that have the most foot traffic.
Last but not the least, one of the most common causes of lost profits in business is employee theft. For this reason, it is important that you hire only personnel that have passed extensive background checks. As a marijuana business owner, you want to have peace of mind knowing you are working with people you can trust.
These three strategies may seem basic but they will go a long way in helping build a solid foundation for your marijuana business. Entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry must not only focus on making their business profitable but on how to establish marijuana’s reputation in the world.