#1: Find Your Place In Cannabis

5 Things to Consider Before Applying for a Cannabis License 

#1:  Find Your Place: What license best fits your skill-set and team?


Many people answer “Yes!” to the question: “Do I want to get into the cannabis industry?”

The next question should be  — but often isn’t — 

”Do I want to be a farmer, a chemist, or a retail business owner?” 

We often talk about the “cannabis industry” as a single topic. Though that simplicity in many ways is useful, when it comes to getting into the industry, more digging and questions start to uncover just how different the various cannabis business types are. 

Yes to All

The best way to answer the “farmer, chemist, or retail owner” question is to look inward — both to yourself and your team. If the answer is “all of them”, then great — but you’re going to need a bigger team to start what we call a vertical business.

Yes to Farmer

If you’re used to managing large teams, large facilities, and have plenty of starting capital, a cultivation may be a great choice, even if you lack agricultural experience. That experience can be brought into the team, and the sooner you do so, the more informed your business decisions can be.

Yes to Chemist

Manufacturing facilities have much smaller staffs, who are much more highly trained, in a much smaller facility, but filled with expensive equipment. If you have a science or commercial kitchen background, or prefer managing these types of personalities, then manufacturing may be the choice for you, and requires less capital.

Yes to Retail Operator

Dispensaries are quintessentially retail businesses, and require the least starting capital. If you’re used to dealing with members of the public, staff who provide customer service, and are looking for an easier business to manage, then a dispensary license may be the best choice for you.

Contributing writer: Greg Huffaker

Read the rest of the “5 Things to Consider” series.

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