20 Small Business Ideas in the Growing Cannabis Industry
Small Business Trends - By. Annie Pilon - 10/09/2016
The cannabis industry is growing fast. And that means there are plenty of potential business opportunities available for entrepreneurs who are interested in this expanding niche.
Serge Chistov, Chief Financial Advisor for the Honest Marijuana Company and president and founder of Serge Import LLC spoke to Small Business Trends in a phone interview about all the possibilities.
Chistov explained, “It’s a lot like any other business. If you’re going to a liquor store you’re going to have liquor stores that are just there and they’re convenient for people to just stop in. And then you have higher end or specialty options. And you also have the producers and the packaging and everything else. So there’s a lot that goes into it.”
Here are 20 potential business ideas for those seeking just the right opportunity for them.
Marijuana Business Opportunities
Before anyone can produce or sell cannabis products for this market, of course, someone needs to actually grow it. So you can build a business by being the first step in the process, working as a farmer or grower who supplies the plants to companies that then process and make it into other products.
You can also provide the essential middle part of that process between growing and selling finished products. Processors take the plants grown by the producers and get them ready to turn into products for medical or recreational use.
Once the finished product is created, you also need retailers to sell those products to consumers. You can do this in a storefront setting with basic products. But Chistov cautions businesses from simply relying on the novelty factor to keep sales high.
He says, “The hype is over. You can’t just hope to set up businesses and immediately become billionaires. You have to actually sell a product that is going to be up to consumer standards, with proper packaging, preservation and all the other things that go into making great products in other industries.”
There are also some states where retail businesses and other businesses that want to sell any cannabis based products need to go through distributors. So that’s another potential business opportunity for those who want to manage the sale of product to businesses in certain states.
Aside from just selling basic marijuana product, you can potentially get a little more creative in how you present your products. Marijuana edibles can range from cakes to candy and even hot sauce. You just need to be aware of the processes and challenges of creating, packaging and selling those edibles.
You can also potentially use marijuana as an ingredient in other products like soaps and lotions and then sell those items to consumers in a retail setting.
Concentrates are potent marijuana substances that people can use with vaporizers or similar devices. You need some equipment and skill to be able to produce this type of substance. But if you can do so, you may be able to sell concentrates to distributors or consumers in some states.
Aside from the actual marijuana product, you can potentially build a business around selling accessories, like glass vessels, papers and trays.
If you have the right equipment to keep the products fresh and protected, you can potentially offer your services in the delivery part of this process, either getting product from growers to processors or from processors to retail businesses or distributors.
Since there are so many potential opportunities, you can also build a business where you provide consulting services to the growing number of entrepreneurs and perspective entrepreneurs in the market, as long as you have knowledge that’s really specific to the cannabis industry.
There’s also a huge need for specialty packaging of a growing variety of products. Retailers and other businesses need packaging solutions that are protective, childproof and will keep products fresh.
You can also potentially start more of a service based business in the cannabis industry. You can start a hotel or lodging business where you also offer cannabis products to appeal to that specific customer base.
You can also build a niche in the floral industry by starting a florist shop that uses marijuana plants along with other flowers and plants in its arrangements.
You can also specialize in planning events for cannabis businesses or even start your own events where it’s a main feature or draw for attendees.
There are many mobile app possibilities related to the cannabis industry as well, from those that locate dispensaries to those that provide information or even social features to users.
Social Network Founder
You can also potentially start your own social network aimed specifically at cannabis consumers. This could also present some unique advertising opportunities for other cannabis businesses.
Since the cannabis industry is relatively new, the businesses involved still have a long way to go when it comes to finding the exact tools that really suit their needs. Restaurants, retail stores and other types of businesses all have software programs made specifically to help them perform essential business functions. So if you’re a software developer, you can potentially do the same for the cannabis industry.
In addition, security has become a major concern for some cannabis businesses with an increasing need to protect their product and their profits.
Consumers also need access to information regarding the cannabis industry and the products available. So you could potentially build a business around providing reviews and other pertinent information to help consumers make informed decisions.
And if you live in a place that’s become a destination for cannabis consumers, you can potentially also offer a tour guide service where you take people to relevant destinations around your city or state.