Waiting On Cannabis Licenses? Give Back and Get Involved
Cannabis Is Moving Fast – How To Get Involved Sooner
2023 has been one hectic year in cannabis, and there’s no signs of slowing down as more states like Delaware and Minnesota enter the cannabis marketplace. But what can you be doing while you’re eagerly waiting patiently (or impatiently) to apply for your own license? The best thing a prospective applicant can be doing as they wait for an application window is to give back and get involved. But where to even start? Hopefully this can help and offer some ideas on what you can be doing now.
Pick An Ideal Cannabis Region to Call Home
Where are you? Or at least, where do you hope to be? While these may seem like philosophical questions, they’re actually just practical ones! Even before you secure your license, more than likely you’ll need to identify an address for your business. While that’s not always essential, it’s recommended to find a general area such as a county you know or anticipate you’ll be operating in. Once this has been identified, you can better begin the work of community involvement.
Early Local Partnerships Can Boost Future Business
It’s important to know a general area you’re going to be operating in because the most impactful way to give back and to get involved is with the local community. These are the individuals, businesses, or governments you’re more than likely going to be working with on a day-to-day basis during your license pursuit, so that’s why it’s important to think smaller. There is also the simple fact that on a federal level, things are, well, up in the air. This has a domino effect on more nationally-recognized organizations—from banks to non-profits—which may be more reticent to work with a business operating with a federally illegal substance. Local thinking may help make these partnerships more amenable and plausible.
Give Back With Time and Money
When it comes to having a positive impact on the community, one of the best things a prospective cannabis applicant can do is to begin donating time and money to non-profits. Maybe you or members of your team already have experience with this. That’s great! But it may be worth looking at local non-profits and those specifically related to the impacts of cannabis prohibition. This includes non-profits dedicated to reducing recidivism, addressing social and economic inequality, and medical/ healthcare organizations in favor of cannabis and its access for patients. Financial donations to any of the non-profits which you or other members of your business team connect with can be a great way to establish partnerships and show a commitment to supporting them, but never underestimate the value of donating time to volunteer with or for these non-profits as well.
Be A Good Neighbor To Build Your Reputation
Odds are, when you open up shop, be it as a cultivator, processor, or retailer, you’ll have some other businesses nearby. Even if you don’t have an exact location identified, don’t hesitate to reach out to businesses in the area, join a Chamber of Commerce, and begin attending business industry events. This is true for cannabis and non-cannabis related organizations and networking opportunities. Begin reaching out, securing letters of support from local business owners and operators, and meet with other prospective licensees as well.
Local Governments Are A Friend To Cannabis
Friend may be too strong of a word, but it is true that you can be involved with your local governments and get them to be supportive, maybe even enthusiastic, about your business operating there. It’s in their interest to have valuable tax dollars coming into their municipality or county as opposed to the neighboring one. Many states also have required local approval prior to state licensing, so if you’re able to begin attending planning board meetings, town halls, or just introduce yourself and your intentions to your local representatives, now can be the perfect time to start establishing these connections and get your foot in the door.
Still Need Help? Let’s Build The Industry (And Community) Together
There is no shortage of ways you can begin connecting with others in your community and begin giving back. By giving back, you not only introduce yourself to members of the area you’re going to be operating in, but also establish relationships with business, non-profits, and government which can help in your own mission to begin operating. If you have any additional questions on community impact, engagement, business planning, pitch decks, or license pursuits which all can be essential in getting your business up and running, our team of cannabis consultants has extensive experience both locally and nationally.