9 Marijuana Business Ideas for Founders
Last updated 10/16/2019
Thinking about getting into the legal marijuana business? It's not too late. With all of the industry growth and increased popularity, many entrepreneurs are seeing now as a prime time to start a cannabusiness.
The good news is that there are plenty of potential cannabis business opportunities out there that extend far beyond the obvious. The key to starting a cannabusiness that is uniquely your own is to utilize the skills and interests that you already have.
Founding a Cannabis Growing or Selling Business: Your Options
Starting a cannabis farm is the first thing that comes to mind for most people who have a passion for the industry. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty and following regulations for buying cannabis seeds, then marijuana cultivation might be your calling.
If you would rather be in the business of selling cannabis products, then a dispensary may be more your style. Learn more about dispensary business plans and if it would be the right fit for you.
Keep in mind that both of these business ventures are highly-regulated on a state level and require special licenses. Before getting too far on your business plan, talk to a local cannabis attorney to make sure you understand the regulatory environment you are getting into. For example, some states require proof of at least $1 million in available cash before they will hand over a dispensary license.
Starting a Cannabusiness... Without Weed
If you have high hopes for getting involved in the budding cannabis industry, you don't have to be directly involved with the plant itself. If bypassing red tape and high taxes sounds appealing, there are plenty of ancillary marijuana businesses that you could consider. These industry-supporting business ideas include:
1. Cannabis packaging and labeling. Ask any marketer: packaging can be just as important as product, especially in an industry that is growing more competitive by the day. Additionally, the cannabis industry has literally thousands of different products, so there is plenty of room for creativity and innovation.
2. Software development. When it comes to cannabis and tech, the sky is the limit. Tech startups ranging from marketing automation platforms, to app-based weed delivery services, to inventory and compliance software have already attracted major investment dollars.
3. Agtech solutions. Technologies, equipment, and supplies that assist in the production and cultivation of cannabis is another huge area of opportunity in the industry. Agtech will continue to grow as cultivators look to streamline and ramp-up their operations with increased demand.
4. Professional cannabusiness services. If you already have a profession — perhaps you are a marketer, PR professional, accountant, or attorney — you could decide to make your services niche by focusing on the cannabis industry.
5. Marijuana accessories. Bongs and vaporizers and dab rigs. Oh, my! Because cannabis has so many uses, selling accessories can be an entire business on its own.
Note: Even though you wouldn't be dealing with marijuana directly, you would certainly have to be knowledgeable on the laws in your state to avoid being charged with paraphernalia-related crimes.
6. Staffing services. Right now, there is a need for industry-specific staffing and recruiting companies that can help match cannabusinesses with highly-qualified employees.
7. Consulting services. If you already know a lot about the industry, you could consider offering consulting services to other businesses and startups. Many business owners are willing to pay big bucks for expert advice.
8. Event planning. If event planning is your specialty, then you could create a business planning parties, festivals, trade shows, and other events in the industry. Even private events such as birthday parties and weddings are being done with cannabis flare.
9. Security. For regulatory reasons, most cannabis businesses have to operate mainly in cold, hard cash, and having that much cash on hand creates security risks. That's where your business could come in.
Ready to Start a Cannabusiness?
The good news about choosing an ancillary cannabusiness venture is that you will generally not face the same strict regulatory hurdles that "plant touching" businesses must clear. However, because your business is marijuana-related and the plant is still a schedule 1 drug, according to the federal government, you will have to use added caution.
An experienced cannabis attorney in your state can make sure that your business is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations so it can be as successful and profitable as possible (and you can stay out of trouble).