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Things You Need to Do to Get a Cannabis Business License | Cannabiz Media

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In 2020, five states’ residents voted to allow recreational and/or adult-use cannabis. Specifically, Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota voters approved recreational cannabis, and South Dakota and Mississippi voters approved medical cannabis.

But the growth of the industry won’t be limited to those five states during 2021. Already, news stories have broken about states like New York and Connecticut aggressively considering adult-use legalization in the near future.

Suffice it to say, there will be many opportunities to join the industry, but entrepreneurs who want to own and operate a business in the legal cannabis supply chain can’t just set up shop and open their doors. In this industry, getting a cannabis business license is a requirement first, and it’s rarely easy or cheap to do so.

To help you get started, this article introduces the key steps you should take to get a cannabis license in the United States. However, it’s important to understand that licensing laws and operational laws vary from state to state, and you need to understand them thoroughly if you want to have any chance at securing a license.

With that said, make sure you learn the laws in the state where you want to get a license and understand what’s coming in 2021, so you don’t miss anything. Getting a cannabis business license can be expensive, and you don’t want to make any mistakes!

Educate Yourself and Prepare

There were a lot of developments in the cannabis industry in 2020, and one thing that became apparent was that license holders who don’t have a solid business plan and funding are unlikely to succeed. With continual regulatory changes, entrepreneurs need to be extremely knowledgeable and prepared.

This begins with preparing to apply for a cannabis business license. Start by researching the cannabis market and laws in your state as well as the license application requirements license holder eligibility requirements.

In addition, do your homework and make sure you fully understand any local requirements or restrictions that could impact your license application and your business operations. For example, if you can’t get local approval to do business in your selected municipality in California, you don’t be apply to get a state license, and California is not the only state where you need to win a local license or approval before you can get a state license.

Here are some questions to ask yourself at this early stage:

  • Are you willing to comply with the state’s laws for cannabis businesses?
  • Do you meet the qualifications to apply for a license?
  • Do you need business partners? Who will you partner with? Do they meet the application requirements?
  • How much funding do you need and where will you get it?
  • How easy or difficult will it be to find property to buy or lease for your business operations?
  • What are the local rules and regulations? What are the local tax rates and implications for your business?

Your early research should help you answer these questions to confirm whether or not you’re ready to not only jump into the cannabis industry but also to succeed.

Write a Business Plan

When you start any business, you need to write a business plan. A well-written business plan lays everything out on paper. It also helps ensure you’re taken seriously when you seek funding or apply for a cannabis business license.

Write out your entire business plan considering the laws in the state where your business would operate today and how those laws might change in the next several years. The cannabis industry is evolving rapidly, so you need to make sure your business is built on a solid foundation yet is agile enough to grow with the market.

RELATED READING: How to Write a Business Plan for the Cannabis Industry

Develop Procedures

While it might seem like you don’t need to create procedures for things like payment processing, shipping, distribution, compliance, recordkeeping, accounting, security, and so on, many states require that you include written standard operating procedures (SOPs) with your license application.

The key to developing SOPs this early in the process is to bring an expert onto your team or outsource the task to an expert. The person who writes your SOPs needs to have experience in the industry and understand the operations and compliance requirements of the type of business you want to launch.

If the license application in your state requires that you provide written procedures for specific operations, make sure you provide details so it’s clear that you’ve thought everything through and have a strong chance to be successful.

Create a Budget and Financial Projections

You can’t start a business in any industry without money, and you’ll definitely need a sizeable amount of money to get a cannabis license. For example, licensing fees and applications fees can be thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The amount varies depending on the state and the type of license you want to get, but you’ll need a significant amount of money on hand to start your business and to keep it running until you can generate revenue and profits. For example, many states require significant annual payments to keep your license once you get it.

Therefore, develop a budget that includes things like rental/leasing costs, licensing costs, employee salaries and benefits, security, utilities, supplies, and anything else you’ll need to pay for. Work with a financial expert (or bring one onto your team) who understands the cannabis industry and can help you create realistic financial projections.

Not only do you need a budget and financial projections to start a business the right way, but you might also need to include them in your state’s licensing application.

Build Your Team

It might seem too early to think of employees, but you may need to bring in partners and key employees to help you get funding and a cannabis business license. If you’re looking for investors to help secure the capital needed to launch your business, then showing them that you have knowledgeable, experienced leaders who increase the business’ chance of success will make them more likely to consider investing.

Similarly, the people who review your license application want to see that you have the right expertise and skills on your team to launch a business that will reliably help keep the state’s cannabis market running. For example, a cultivator application would look stronger if a highly experienced, expert master grower is leading the grow operations.

In addition, many states require that partners named on the license application go through background checks, meet specific qualifications, and obtain individual licenses to operate in the industry. You need to make sure your partners will pass and qualify before you include them on your application.

Today, more people are completing educational programs and receiving certifications related to cannabis-specific professions, and jobs in the cannabis industry are luring highly-skilled workers from diverse industries across the country. Be prepared to spend some time finding the right people.

Obtain Funding

Traditional banks are unlikely to loan you money since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, so plan to use your own savings, investments from family and friends, or angel investors to get your business off the ground.

This may change in the future if legislation passes through both Houses of Congress and is signed into law, but for now, options for cannabis business funding are limited. Another option is to partner with another business, but you may have to get creative since typical avenues to obtain capital won’t be available to you.

Regardless of how you obtain funding, one thing is certain – you need more money than you think you will, and you’ll need to prove that you have access to it in your license application.

Secure Property

Many states require that cannabis business license applicants already have real estate secured for their businesses. That means you need to find a property that meets the licensing requirements in your state, get approval from the landlord and owner (if you’re leasing) to use the property for a cannabis business, and get approval from the municipality where the property is located to use it for cannabis business operations.

Keep in mind, a number of states allow local municipalities to charge fees, require special permits and/or licenses, and levy additional taxes on cannabis businesses. Therefore, it’s essential that you do your research and make sure the property you choose is a viable choice for your business before you pay anything or submit your state license application.

Complete the License Application

With all of your research done and application requirements in place, it’s time to write your cannabis license application – a process that some applicants spend many months and many thousands of dollars with the help of consultants and industry experts to complete.

The most important things to remember as you work on your license application are to be honest and very thorough. Explain everything in detail to show you’ve done your planning and preparation correctly.

Application reviewers want to know if they grant you a license, your business can be up and running with no delays or problems that could jeopardize the state’s marijuana program. Show them they can be confident in you, your team, and your business model.

Keep in mind, some states have multiple applications and every state’s application is different. The application process varies as well with some states including specific scoring criteria. For example, this criteria could include information related to:

  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Ability to operate
  • Operations plan
  • Applicant organization, ownership, capital, and tax status
  • Product manufacturing
  • Quality assurance and staffing
  • Geographic distribution
  • Financial standing
  • Real property and equipment
  • Transportation and distribution
  • Technical and technological ability
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic impact and diversity
  • Community benefit
  • Sales and dispensing
  • Affiliation with a doctor
  • Security
  • Architectural design
  • Cover letter
  • And more

Bottom-line, you could be required to provide a lot of information, so don’t rush the process. It takes a lot of time to produce a high quality application. In fact, some cannabis businesses submit applications that are hundreds or thousands of pages long. This isn’t something you can should do quickly.

Remember, the application process is a competition. Yours needs to not just meet the minimum requirements. It needs to stand out from the crowd and show reviewers that your business is ready and able to support the state’s marijuana program better than any other business.

Take your time, be detailed, and write an application that proves your business is the right choice.

Key Takeaways to Get a Cannabis Business License

The cannabis industry is exciting and growing, but there are barriers to entry that cannabis businesses need to be prepared to overcome. With a strong business plan, funding, real estate, and a well-written license application, your business will have the best chance to secure a license and join the cannabis industry.

It’s up to you to be successful, so do your homework, learn as much as you can about the industry, your state’s laws, and compliance requirements, and most importantly, be realistic with your initial and ongoing investment requirements as well as your revenue and other financial projections. The well-prepared, knowledgeable applicant typically has the best chance of winning a cannabis license and being successful in the industry.

Originally published 7/2/19. Updated 1/15/21.

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Source: https://www.cannabiz.media/blog/things-you-need-to-do-to-get-a-cannabis-business-license

Cannabis

Irish start-up raises funds to get farmers to grow hemp using drones

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An Irish start-up has just raised $5.3 million (€4.5 million) in financing to provide loans to farmers in Ireland and across the world to encourage them to grow hemp for use in cannabidiol (CBD) products.

Co Meath-based Greenheart CBD, which was founded by Paul Walsh and Mark Canavan two years ago, uses drones and artificial intelligence to help maximise crop cultivation by continually monitoring plant health.

The company, which previously secured a government licence to grow hemp with farmers in Co Wicklow, has developed a number of organic CBD products for consumers that have full traceability “from seed to shelf”.

CBD is the lesser-known compound found in the cannabis sativa plant; its more famous sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Having recently signed a major distribution contract with Uniphar to distribute its products, the company is now looking to expand its supply chain. It has managed to grow, in retail terms, $12 million worth of crop so far from 10 acres in Ireland but now wants to secure more hemp, particularly from the developing world.

Cannabis association

Despite the growing popularity of CBD products, many farmers find it difficult to obtain financing from banks for hemp production due to its connection with cannabis. Greenheart is therefore stepping in to lend directly to them via smart contracts, which are built on blockchain technology.

Farmers essentially sign up for a package that allows them to start growing hemp immediately. As well as seeds, they get a drone and other smart technology that allows them to produce the purest crop at a decent yield. Greenheart then buys the crop from them.

The drones are used to continually monitor the health of the crop, and they have retractable arms that can remove weeds, pick buds and so on.

“There hasn’t really been an upgrade in terms of technology in agriculture since the introduction of the tractor but I believe that drone technology could change everything,” said Mr Walsh.

A typical loan to a farmer using the company’s lending model could be anywhere between $500 to $50,000 over five years, with interest at 5 per cent. Greenheart estimates that a farmer in the developing world might typically realise $1,500 per annum from existing cash crops but that they could get $2,500 per crop cycle from an acre of CBD cultivation.

Full traceability

According to Mr Walsh, its model could transform the livelihoods of farmers while also giving the company access to the highest-quality hemp, while consumers get full traceability of products that aren’t harmful to the environment.

“Greenheart CBD has committed itself to making a difference in today’s world with a unique and original approach to helping smallholders climb from the poverty trap,” said Liam Robertson, chief executive of Alphabit Fund, which has led the $5.3 million fundraiser.

The company is shortly to publicly launch the Greenheart Punt, a digital token that can be bought and sold. The €5.3 million raised has come from investors buying some of these tokens with others to be made available more widely shortly. One punt is equivalent to $0.10 with 150 million tokens minted in total.

Those who have tokens will be able to use them to access Greenheart products at a significant discount. Money raised via the punt will also help the company finance the purchasing of new land for CBD production, and go towards building a decortication plant to enable an expansion into other product lines, including insulation materials and bio-plastics.

Greenheart is already in profit and has secured over 2,500 customers since it launched in January 2020.

Source : https://www.irishtimes.com/business/agribusiness-and-food/irish-start-up-raises-funds-to-get-farmers-to-grow-hemp-using-drones-1.4534453

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4 Tips to Market Your Marijuana Dispensary

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Even Marijuana Needs Marketing

Marijuana has become a household name. It has already turned that page of history when speaking about weed or smoking it was considered illegal and was punishable. Nowadays, people have a more accepting attitude to the preferences of others and many of them advocate for diversity of opinions and choices. Marijuana, cannabis, and weed, in general, have always been the subject of hot debates, but one thing is clear. People need them for various reasons. Some use marijuana to get that feeling of satisfaction, to feel happy, while others opt for it for recreational purposes. This means that the owners of marijuana dispensaries and shops already have a long-developed customer base. The only thing remaining is to target them carefully and market your product correctly to win their loyalty and trust.

Tip #1. Personal Values

Surprisingly, personal values play a significant role in choosing marijuana over other types of relaxing and recreational activities. Studies have shown that young adults, especially, highly value their health and well-being. However, as this period is probably the most stressful among the others in the human lifespan, young adults very often need something to unwind and have some rest. For these purposes, they can choose weed. Research has shown that young adults consider marijuana healthier than alcohol, and it has become an essential part of their emotional wellness.

Tip #2. Teach New Ways

This can be very applicable to adults and baby boomers. Thinking that marijuana can be interested only to youngsters is the very right step to cutting down a large part of your potential buyers. It turns out that baby boomers have been also interested in marijuana for years; however, they refrained from using it due to societal constraints. As a result, the boomers might not be very well aware of the new and healthier ways to consume marijuana. The best approach here is to advertise and educate boomers on the health benefits of it. On the other hand, it would be great to train your staff to be welcoming to boomers. The latter usually seek information and are very keen on learning and trying something new.

Tip #3. Use Personas in Your Marketing

Personas are a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing. When you do market research, you will see that certain population groups are especially interested in your product. Those groups can be broken down into subgroups based on their gender, occupation, location, etc. For each of them, you can create a persona – a representative figure which accumulates the interests and the motives of these groups in one person. You can name her or him the way you want; the important thing here is that you can consider that persona’s internal frame of reference every time you present a new product. You can use him or her to find out whether that new offer will work for that particular group or not. Based on various reasons, like the frequency of their purchases or benefits they want to get, you can come up with something even better.

Tip #4. Use customized items.

Using custom-printed items would do a great favor to any marijuana dispensary. It is something that helps stand out and promote your business without putting much time and effort into creating something new. Ganjaprint, an all-inclusive store of custom-branded promotions for dispensaries and smoke shops provides a big variety of lighters, bags, matches, grinders, jars and rolling papers, and much more. The best thing about Ganjaprint is that the dispensary-owner can order its logo to be printed on any product, which will make it more recognizable and would differentiate it among the others. For example, Ganjaprint has already come up with designs for refillable custom clipper lighters with a 72-hour rush print offered. Using their website, you can order these lighters or any item that you want choosing the colors and the location.

Marijuana’s Four

By carefully using the tips above any shop owner can make sure that he/she targets the right audience and communicates the products in the right way. On one hand, knowing your customers and speaking in their language would serve the need to win their hearts. On the other hand, applying for the services of Ganjaprint and ordering your unique items will help your product be in use longer than any alternative to it.

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Cannabis

4 Tips to Market Your Marijuana Dispensary

Avatar

Published

on

Even Marijuana Needs Marketing

Marijuana has become a household name. It has already turned that page of history when speaking about weed or smoking it was considered illegal and was punishable. Nowadays, people have a more accepting attitude to the preferences of others and many of them advocate for diversity of opinions and choices. Marijuana, cannabis, and weed, in general, have always been the subject of hot debates, but one thing is clear. People need them for various reasons. Some use marijuana to get that feeling of satisfaction, to feel happy, while others opt for it for recreational purposes. This means that the owners of marijuana dispensaries and shops already have a long-developed customer base. The only thing remaining is to target them carefully and market your product correctly to win their loyalty and trust.

Tip #1. Personal Values

Surprisingly, personal values play a significant role in choosing marijuana over other types of relaxing and recreational activities. Studies have shown that young adults, especially, highly value their health and well-being. However, as this period is probably the most stressful among the others in the human lifespan, young adults very often need something to unwind and have some rest. For these purposes, they can choose weed. Research has shown that young adults consider marijuana healthier than alcohol, and it has become an essential part of their emotional wellness.

Tip #2. Teach New Ways

This can be very applicable to adults and baby boomers. Thinking that marijuana can be interested only to youngsters is the very right step to cutting down a large part of your potential buyers. It turns out that baby boomers have been also interested in marijuana for years; however, they refrained from using it due to societal constraints. As a result, the boomers might not be very well aware of the new and healthier ways to consume marijuana. The best approach here is to advertise and educate boomers on the health benefits of it. On the other hand, it would be great to train your staff to be welcoming to boomers. The latter usually seek information and are very keen on learning and trying something new.

Tip #3. Use Personas in Your Marketing

Personas are a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing. When you do market research, you will see that certain population groups are especially interested in your product. Those groups can be broken down into subgroups based on their gender, occupation, location, etc. For each of them, you can create a persona – a representative figure which accumulates the interests and the motives of these groups in one person. You can name her or him the way you want; the important thing here is that you can consider that persona’s internal frame of reference every time you present a new product. You can use him or her to find out whether that new offer will work for that particular group or not. Based on various reasons, like the frequency of their purchases or benefits they want to get, you can come up with something even better.

Tip #4. Use customized items.

Using custom-printed items would do a great favor to any marijuana dispensary. It is something that helps stand out and promote your business without putting much time and effort into creating something new. Ganjaprint, an all-inclusive store of custom-branded promotions for dispensaries and smoke shops provides a big variety of lighters, bags, matches, grinders, jars and rolling papers, and much more. The best thing about Ganjaprint is that the dispensary-owner can order its logo to be printed on any product, which will make it more recognizable and would differentiate it among the others. For example, Ganjaprint has already come up with designs for refillable custom clipper lighters with a 72-hour rush print offered. Using their website, you can order these lighters or any item that you want choosing the colors and the location.

Marijuana’s Four

By carefully using the tips above any shop owner can make sure that he/she targets the right audience and communicates the products in the right way. On one hand, knowing your customers and speaking in their language would serve the need to win their hearts. On the other hand, applying for the services of Ganjaprint and ordering your unique items will help your product be in use longer than any alternative to it.

source link:platodata

 

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Cannabiz Media Client Spotlight – Shield Compliance | Cannabiz Media

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Shield Compliance is a comprehensive compliance management platform for banking cannabis-related businesses. The company’s focus is on transforming the way cannabis banks and legal marijuana financial institutions manage risk, comply with regulations, and satisfy operational demands across the United States.

Cannabiz Media recently spoke with Tony Repanich, President and Chief Operating Officer at Shield Compliance, to learn more about how he and his team use the Cannabiz Media License Database to support their business development, data intelligence, and license verification processes.

Why Does Shield Compliance Subscribe to the Cannabiz Media License Database?

Shield Compliance subscribes to the Cannabiz Media License Database for access to reliable industry intelligence and licensing data for the cannabis industry. “We rely on the Cannabiz Media License Database to bring information into our platform,” shares Tony Repanich. “It’s an important part of our license verification process and our licensed data set.”

Thanks to the reliable data in the Cannabiz Media platform, Tony and his team save a significant amount of the time and frustration previously required to find the data they need to do their jobs. 

Tony explains, “There are a lot of states that make it very difficult to get information about the licenses they’ve issued and the enforcement actions they’ve undertaken. Where we can get direct state integration to get data, we do that. However, where we need an additional uplift in terms of boots on the street or boots on the phone and keyboard to get the information from states that are more difficult to deal with, we rely on the Cannabiz Media License Database to bring that information into our platform.”

Bottom-line, Tony says, “The Cannabiz Media team has done a great job bringing together that information and having diligence around filling those gaps.”

What’s Next for Shield Compliance?

A big focus for Shield Compliance in the near future is its new onboarding solution. Tony explains, “We brought our new onboarding solution to market at the end of 2020, and it’s really helping our bankers streamline the onboarding process and creating a much better client experience. We’re really excited to get that in front of more bankers this year.”

With more states legalizing cannabis and launching new cannabis programs, Shield Compliance is focusing on future trends and the evolving industry. “We’re having a lot more conversations with bankers that we’ve never talked to in the past, like New York and New Jersey,” Tony shares. “We’re also having a lot more conversations with bankers about their willingness and ability to lend, which is great for the industry.”

For more information about Shield Compliance and to hear additional insights from Tony Repanich, follow the link and listen to Cannabiz Media’s recent Cannacurio podcast episode featuring Tony as the special guest.

To learn more about how subscribing to the Cannabiz Media License Database can help your business like it helps the team at Shield Compliance, follow the link and schedule a free demo.

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Source: https://www.cannabiz.media/blog/cannabiz-media-client-spotlight-shield-compliance

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