Nowadays, jumping into the world of entrepreneurship seems to be the most ideal and practical way to earn a living. Running a business means one would not have to stick to a nine-to-five job and rise to the corporate ladder. However, while it can be easy to do so with the advent of the internet and the surge of online business, any business start-up still requires careful planning and thorough preparations.
The same applies when opening a weed dispensary, if not more. Due to its complexities, from the legal viewpoint to societal impacts, a cannabis business needs not only steadfast commitment and keen attention to details but also the necessary know-how and insights that will help meet its unique challenges.
It Is a $57 Billion Industry
The cannabis industry is a league of its own, creating an insurmountable buzz that no other business can beat. According to Arcview Market Research, legal cannabis spending can hit $57 billion in 10 years especially with the growing acceptance and easing of laws in dozens of states to allow its use for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
Before even considering starting a cannabis business, it is essential to know the ins and outs of the industry. Preparation includes anticipating hurdles, risks, and difficulties that this kind of business entails. Familiarizing with the industry’s many complexities, from financial and legal viewpoints to the target market, will significantly help in successfully opening a weed shop.
Licensing Fees Differ per State
What are the necessities before opening a marijuana business? This part is very important. Establishing precautionary measures like getting a license, paying the application fees, registering for taxes, and getting insurance, is critical.
Acquiring a license varies and can be downright tricky since each state has different licensing fees. The initial licensing fee in Colorado is $3,000 while in Louisiana and New Jersey it ranges from $150,000 to $20,000.
Some states, like Connecticut and Illinois, also offer limited licenses. The same applies to application fees, with some even requiring as much as $2 million in bond.
Potential entrepreneurs who wish to open a marijuana dispensary can also expect rigid auditing from authorities along with skyrocketing taxes. Since marijuana is technically still illegal under federal law, banks are hesitant to deal with businesses involved in marijuana.
Legal Weed Opens New Market Opportunities
Most people who purchase marijuana are consumers who need medical treatment for chronic conditions. However, the bulk is with recreational users who are after the high instead of its health benefits.
The growing weed industry has also opened other markets, with businesses exploring other cannabis-related products. Some sell cannabis-related products such as detox drinks and THC cleansers like shampoos for cannabis enthusiasts who want to pass drug testing in the workplace or smoking instruments such as bongs and pipes.
Selling Weed Requires a Business Plan
Just like any other business, opening a marijuana shop will require a sound business plan that lays out the goals, mission, vision, and the necessary benchmark that will guide a start-up to success. Is the goal of selling weed purely for medicinal purposes only, or does it extend to recreational use? What about marijuana-related products? Can people from other states where marijuana is illegal able to buy products?
A cannabis business plan also helps effectively track progress and ensures that the goal for each stage of the business will be achieved. It is also a necessary document especially for inviting investors.
The Weed Community Is Meticulous but Loyal
Knowledge, skills, and experience in managing and operating a marijuana business are also critical. One has to be an expert in the industry for customers to trust the business, especially in an industry where that has yet to become completely legal.
Consumers will want to know that their information is secure and confidential. So knowing the ins and outs of legal matters concerning marijuana will ensure that the business is not violating any state or federal laws and will not endanger consumers.
There Are Tons of Affiliate Programs
There is one other avenue to taking advantage of this booming industry without managing an endless inventory or opening a physical shop: affiliate programs. It is a less-complicated path to making money online without the hassle. There are hundreds of online weed shops that run affiliate programs to help market their products.
Being an affiliate means using a website or any online channel as a vehicle to drive traffic and sales to the shop one is affiliated with and earn money in commissions. Affiliates also earn more since they can promote multiple product types. They can sell cannabis extracts, detox products, smoking pipes, glass bongs or stash boxes. Some affiliates even sell clothes online, merchandise such as Bob Marley prints or custom prints of the weed plant.
In the end, running an online weed shop is a huge commitment with many intricacies in the legal department. Whether it is the long and difficult path or the easy way, the right time is now to take advantage of this fastest-growing global market.