The cannabis industry is booming and business people from all walks of life are pursuing the industry in droves. Of course, there are the traditional types of cannabis businesses–cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, retail, testing laboratories, and now events. But in addition to the more typical businesses that come to mind when you think of this industry, there is a need gap for ancillary businesses in the cannabis mix. We’ve put together a list of 5 interesting types of cannabis businesses for entrepreneurs.
5 Interesting Types of Cannabis Businesses For Entrepreneurs
Marketing of all types is needed in this industry. Digital marketing is a double-edged sword in that some cannabis businesses don’t/can’t have large digital footprints (see more in #2). However, there is a need to raise awareness, educate and advertise (though, advertising gets tricky as well). Traditional types of print marketing, promotional marketing, branding, and marketing consulting are also in high demand. Content marketing is our favorite, as it takes a balance of marketing strategy and industry knowledge to really connect with businesses and consumers.
Cannabis banking is an issue that many brave and ambitious entrepreneurs have been trying to address. Because cannabis is still a Federally Controlled Substance (FCS), federally-backed (FDIC) financial institutions cannot have any contact with money that can be traced back to cannabis operations. At present, the cannabis industry (particularly plant-touching businesses) is largely cash-based. Smaller state banks and credit unions, for example, have come to the aid of the cannabis industry, but there is still no firm solution in place to address the issue of banking. We’ve seen different solutions pop-up, like, ledger-based electronic cash systems (cryptocurrencies), but the industry still has not seen a viable, long-term solution.
In such a new, highly regulated, yet fragmented industry, lobbying is in high demand. There are opportunities on many levels to lobby at the federal, state and local levels. It’s kind of like the wild west–regulation varies from state-to-state, municipality-to-municipality. Some cities have banned cannabis, others have embraced it to a certain degree, and some are welcoming it with open arms. Lobbying gives you the opportunity to push for more regulation, deregulation or more importantly… smarter regulation.
The legal arena within the cannabis industry is tricky, especially if you are working with a plant-touching company. Business lawyers and IP lawyers are always needed for entity creation, patents and other intellectual property-related ventures for example. Moreover, lawyers are needed to consult and advise on administrative, employment, and tax law. The good news–as far as the State of California, the California Rules of Professional Conduct were updated (in effect since Nov. 1, 2018) to give more leeway to lawyers working with and advising on the cannabis industry. The update offers guidance and cover for attorneys counseling clients in the cannabis industry who face a conflict between California and federal laws.
A huge umbrella, but still very important. The opportunities for research, development, and innovation in CBD/THC/cannabinoids are endless. All verticals of the industry: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing laboratories, and retail dispensaries are rife with opportunity. As time progresses we’re sure to see innovation in uses/applications for cannabinoids, terpene isolation, technology, cannabis waste revitalization and more. The Agricultural Tech (Ag Tech) industry is growing rapidly, and though cannabis is a Federally Controlled Substance, it, in theory, falls into the category of agriculture. The opportunities are infinite.