Illustration for the article titled How to Break into the Legal Weed IndustryPhoto: Brandon Crawford (Shutterstock)

The train to weed legalization is on traveling in America, and whether it’s already in your state or on the way, you might be interested in getting into the industry. There has always been money in marijuana, but now there is money in marijuana to talk about with the stranger over the desk in the H&R block.

You can use your business expertise to start a pharmacy, but there are actually some ways you can turn legal weed into big money.

Act quickly first

You’re not the only big head out there to see dollar signs after reading the latest report on legalization efforts, but if you act fast you can compete for victory.

“My entry into the cannabis industry was a few years ago,” said Adam Wilks of Captor Capital, who operates pharmacies in California, where he said the business was “mostly smooth”. “I worked for big brands in the hospitality industry, including Pinkberry. When I walked in, we were just starting to see attraction with federal legalization pushes like the SAFE Banking Act and statewide searches. I think I got in during the “sweet spot” phase when there was still a lot of excitement about an emerging industry and a lot of money wasn’t quite ready to take risks. Now everyone is soaking up cannabis. “

Stay up to date on local rules and regulations

One topic kept coming up in conversations with Wilks and Flora Growth CEO Luis Merchan: read the news, pay attention to rules and regulations in different regions, and don’t get complacent.

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You know cannabis sales have been an economic staple in this country for decades, but what is new is the transition to legality that is spreading across America, transforming cannabis use and sales, subject to a variety of regulations and taxes. If you want to be successful in a rapidly changing business, you need to keep track of the changes. Set up some google notifications and familiarize yourself with outlets and reporters covering the cannabis industry.

Think about what you want to do

Don’t get too caught up in everyday details. Do you have a long-term vision, be it a pharmacy like Wilks or a production like Merchans Flora Growth, which went public on NASDAQ earlier this year. Work towards your overall goal.

“Be patient,” said Wilks. “An emerging sector is a game of incrementalism, and it’s important that you have a broader strategy instead of getting bogged down in day-to-day details. Lots of people try to make quick money in this area, but at some point there will be some real winners. “

Even in the illegal marijuana market, there has always been a difference between those who want to “make a quick buck” and those who play a longer game. Someone who pays for their daily expenses by selling a penny bag or two is a little different from a large dealer or grower, isn’t it? Legalization certainly changed the landscape, but not the fundamentals. Decide what you want to be. There’s no shame in making quick buck, but if you want more, you have to plan for it.

Merchan advised that if you were doing something more important than seeking immediate satisfaction, “Take the time to plan and develop a strategy that your management team, board of directors, and shareholders are happy with. Depending on the jurisdiction and the markets you want to do business in, there are many nuances and subtleties in bringing products to market in our highly regulated industry. ”

Start networking with the right people

Say goodbye to the parking lot cyph and greet the hotel boardroom or conference center. (Or, instead of saying goodbye to the cyph, don’t smoke at work.) A fundamental element of entrepreneurship is emphasis on the person. You can’t do this on your own, so don’t try.

Merchan recommended: “Learn from the mistakes of others and concentrate on your core competencies, stay light and invest capital where you have the greatest profit and the least risk. There are already enough resources and talent out there; you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint; Today, consider the long-term implications of your decisions and how they can help you achieve your overarching mission and vision, and surround yourself with a team of passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable people who share the same goals. “

In essence, it’s time for you to make some new friends. Check out marijuana business conferences. There are now! There are MJBizCon, Cannabis conference, and CannaCon, among other. Read the CannaBis Business Times, get active in forums and on Reddit, and even go to your local pharmacy and ask the manager if you can pick her brain. Ask some smokers who you know about their needs or if they have noticed any gaps in the business that need to be filled. Allow yourself to learn and be inspired to help you find where you fit in this growing arena.

This is a business venture, and even if you have some stigmatized issues with weed, everything is legitimate so look at the industry like you would any other. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or take risks. The groundbreaking ceremony for a new business venture is at the heart of the long-announced American dream. It’s the same way smoking a joint in public. This industry was made for you.