While exact statistics vary by state, a study by the National Cannabis Industry Association indicates that an estimated 37% of cannabis businesses are operating without a profit. What makes the difference between cannabis businesses that succeed and those that don’t? Often it’s the help and advice from industry experts found at qualified cannabis consulting firms.
If you’re considering hiring a cannabis business advising firm, here are some top things to look for when finding the right advising partner for your business.
1. A quality cannabis consulting firm should have industry experience and multi-faceted expertise.
While many cannabis advising firms may have years of experience in a few areas of expertise, look for cannabis advisors who can help you in every stage of business and are experts in multiple facets of the industry. From regulatory compliance, licensing, legal consulting, best business practices, marketing and branding to exit planning and more, a cannabis consulting firm should have experts that are well-versed in multiple areas.
2. Look for a firm with in-depth industry knowledge.
Cannabis is a tightly regulated industry with must-know laws that vary by state. Seek out a cannabis consultation firm that can showcase their know-how not only in the state you hope to build your business, but in other states as well so that you’re prepared if you decide to expand beyond your home state’s borders. A firm that keeps its stakeholders informed on changes in the industry and opportunities to grow is ideal. Check their website and social media to see if they’re sharing the most recent, up-to-date information and have examples of their knowledge and success. Don’t be afraid to ask for case studies or to connect with current or past clients.
3. A cannabis consulting firm should be accessible.
On the cannabis entrepreneurial journey, questions come up outside of consultation appointments. When looking for a quality cannabis consultation firm, look for one that has someone who picks up the phone and is ready to help. It should be about a partnership, not pretense.
4. Accessibility is key, but flexibility is mandatory.
Twenty-one states, Washington, D.C. and Guam have fully legalized cannabis for medical and adult recreational use. Sixteen others permit marijuana for medical use only, with multiple states in the process of legalizing. Cannabis laws and regulations change often, and cannabis entrepreneurs need to be flexible. Advisors should be as well. Flexibility is what keeps the industry afloat.
5. Are they emphasizing diversity?
The diversity statistics for the cannabis sector are alarming. In the cannabis industry, women hold only 22% of executive roles, and minorities account for only 13%, according to recent statistics. Only 20% of cannabis businesses are owned by women, and women account for only 8% of CEO roles.
But, if the industry is to survive, it should be as diverse as the consumers and patients it serves. To help make sure your company is being inclusive and opening up opportunities for everyone, you need a cannabis consulting firm that understands and highlights social equity. The right advisors can help your cannabis business stay inclusive and promote equity in all of your operations.
From regulatory compliance, licensing, best business practices and exit planning, finding a quality cannabis consultation firm that can help you succeed at any stage of your cannabis entrepreneurial journey is priceless and oftentimes a vital key to success.