So you want to open your own cannabis shop. Who wouldn’t want to with this industry getting bigger and bigger every day? There is definitely huge potential for making large profits when you start opening your own cannabis business. But how to start?
Marijuana consumption laws in your area
Before you even start your own shop, it’s best to find out any local laws regarding consuming cannabis in your country or state. If this is regulated then you need to follow regulation laws and learn about how to register you’re your business as well.
Just some of the most common regulations to consider are the age of maturity in your area (the age when cannabis is allowed, usually the same age as alcohol and tobacco use), the allowed amount of weed or weed products per person, the regulations against driving cannabis, where or where not to smoke weed and more.
If you also want to sell cannabis seeds then there are some laws regarding this as well. If you are located in a state or country where growing cannabis is permitted then are some local, municipal and even building laws about the number of plants per residence, controlling the smell of cannabis and how to secure your cannabis plants.
Choose the marijuana sector you are interested in
According to expert business owners, a successful business starts with learning about the sector you want to concentrate on. When it comes to selling cannabis and cannabis products you can choose from a number of sectors like medical cannabis users, high-CBD users, high-THC consumers, cannabis edibles users, marijuana growers, etc.
Why find the sector you want to do business with? Knowing this will help you create better marketing strategies to market your products. You will also be able to come up with better products and services as well.
Understand your customers
After deciding on the ideal sector you wish to serve, the next thing you need to do is to understand your customers. You need to do this so you can better serve them and provide products, promos and offers that will fit their needs.
For instance, you want to sell medical marijuana. To legally sell medical cannabis, you must understand what your customers need including popular marijuana products and accessories to consume cannabis. Your customers may also vary according to a medical condition, age, gender and marijuana consumption preference.
Understanding these conditions will also help you create specific and effective marketing strategies for your customers. For example, if you plan to sell cannabis products for seizures and epilepsy then it is likely that you will be making marketing techniques that will capture the attention of parents and caregivers.
If you intend to sell medical cannabis for pain, nausea and to enhance appetite then specific marketing techniques should be made to attract the attention of patients that have these conditions. This type of medical cannabis is good for patients who are undergoing medical procedures such as chemotherapy, therefore, your marketing strategies should include these patients.
Raise capital for your business
First-time cannabis shop owners may already have the capital for a startup but for some who are still in the process of looking for funds, this might be a setback.
But if cannabis is legal from where you are located, you can take a loan from a bank. You may also try lending companies that will be willing to help you out. There are micro lending companies that will be willing to the small scale business owner. You may also ask a loan from a personal friend or a family member.
You may also consider starting small and then slowly branching out and selling more types of products as time goes by. Start selling dried flowers and afterwards, you may expand to selling accessories and new products.
You may also try crowdfunding programs to help you raise capital. Sites like Kickstarter will help you get the funding you need to get you going and also announce your business online as well. Kickstarter has helped start a number of cannabis products including Project Hemp by Valdore Ltd.
Other crowdfunding sites are Fundanna, CannaFundr, and 420fundme. Fundanna is an equity platform that focuses on connecting startup marijuana businesses with investors from different countries who are willing to help out. This is a risk-free crowdfunding site and is easy to use for business with recreational and medical cannabis. Fundanna has only started in the market in 2017, therefore, it has a strong track record.
CannaFundr is a crowdfunding site that was launched in 2014. It is an equity crowdfunding site that will start a cannabis business using anonymous investors. This site is for free but may be a challenge for first time users. To become a member of CannaFundr, you need to get approved and this could take a while. It is also hard to get feedback from the site’s investors and to check out other projects. But once you get a hang of using CannaFundr, you will be able to easily use it for funding your small-scale cannabis business.
Meanwhile, 420fundme is a platform that is rewards-based which means that you provide gifts to donors rather than allowing them to take ownership of your business. Compared to CannaFundr, it is easier to move through the site however, there were a few stumbling blocks when this site started. 420fundme also uses a peer-to-peer investor platform connected to 420shindig and Cannavstr. These assist businesses to start fundraising projects.
Decide on a good location
Now that you have plans where to get your funds or you may already have set aside money to start your own cannabis shop. An important thing to consider for a physical shop is your business location. Most business owners would agree that there are three important things to start a business: location, location, location.
Setting up your business in the city has many advantages. City-based businesses will have more customers because there are basically more people and more cannabis consumers in the city. There are also more people who stay in the city, do business in the city and who visit the city as well. These are the reasons why most government-run cannabis shops and dispensaries are found in major cities in every country.
Take cannabis shops in Nevada, USA. Most of these shops are found in Las Vegas because business owners take advantage of hundreds of visitors that come to the city to have fun. The cannabis shops here are located in near hotels so that guests can easily purchase marijuana products without traveling far. Shops are near restaurants in case users get the munchies. These businesses are near convention centers and airports as well.
In Las Vegas, shops are actually located near each other but despite this, each one manages to attract a large number of customers day after day. This is because these businesses think of effective ways to stand out.
Some offer special strains of cannabis to get more customers while some offer discounts and deals to customers. A very popular cannabis shop and headgear store in Las Vegas offer different deals day after day with Friday being a favorite among consumers. It is during this day that customers get up to 50% off on different products. There are also businesses that offer year-round discounts for the elderly, senior folks, students, teachers and for first time customers.
Going back to the location of cannabis shops, setting up a store outside the city may not be appealing to most business owners but this actually has a few advantages. Consider that some consumers also live outside the city and consider that these are potential customers looking for good products to purchase.
Taking advantage of the location of other consumers can also help you become a successful cannabis shop in no time.
Hire an interior designer
Gone are the days when cannabis shops are dark, dangerous and dingy. Now, cannabis stores are well-lighted, classy and with lively shelves where you can place different products. And if you want your business to stand out from others, choose a good interior design specialist to help you out.
Make your interior design look professional and very accommodating to customers. This starts with the outer design and appearance of your shop. It must be well-lighted with a sign that represents your company and must also have ample parking space and facilities for pregnant and disabled people.
Your interior décor also counts. Begin with choosing a theme color for your shop and then work your way around this shade. Select comfortable, easy to clean and maintain furniture pieces. Use the interior walls to hang cannabis related materials. These will help your customers decide on the type of strain they can purchase from your shop.
Think of unique marketing ideas
One clever way to actively market your products is to have a sniffing room inside your shop. This is a room where your customers can sniff different flowers to find out about their effects. Other shops offer free professional consultations regarding medical conditions for customers and for potential customers as well.