Legal Cannabis Entrepreneurs: Get Busy – It’s Later than You Think
I often speak with New Jersey entrepreneurs interested in getting involved in the legal cannabis industry but who think it is too early to get started. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We were recently working with a group planning to apply for the Virginia Pharmacy program. Unfortunately, by the time that they contacted us, there were only a few weeks left to the deadline. They assured us that they would be able to make the deadline and that the only remaining hurdle was finding the right location. Every few days we contacted them only to discover that one location after another proved to be unsuitable. Finally, we had to give them the bad news – there simply was not enough time to produce a professional application by the state-imposed deadline.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Once New Jersey starts the race (for medical use expansion, recreational use, or both) the clock will be ticking, and you will only have a finite amount of time to complete and submit your application. And there will be plenty of competition – so it had better be good.
“But what should I be doing?”, they often ask. That’s easy. Even though New Jersey regulations have not yet been published, we can glean insight from local history and other states’ application processes. The bottom line is that there is a ton of work that you should be doing right now.
Here are many of the things you should be worrying about – now get to work…
- Business structure (form, board of directors, EIC, registration, etc.).
- Location selection (local politics, zoning, permits, law enforcement, etc.).
- Real estate (building size, construction requirements, landlord approval, floor plans, environmental controls, security equipment/monitoring, etc.).
- Equipment, furnishings, display cases, etc.
- Cannabis Inventory (products by type, strains, sources, costs, packaging/labeling, etc.).
- Non-cannabis inventory (products, sources, costs, etc.).
- Financial status (documentation).
- Accounting (including 280E)/payroll.
- Staffing (organization structure, job descriptions, hiring, training, salaries, benefits, background checks, compliance with any other state-mandated requirements, etc.).
- Operations (SOPs – security, transportation/storage, etc.).
- Software (POS, inventory control, compliance reporting, etc.).
- State-mandated compliance (patient record-keeping, packaging/labeling, reporting, etc.).
- Legal services.
- Banking services.
- Business plan documentation.
- Pro Forma Financials.
- Marketing plan (competitive analysis, segmentation, promotions, pricing, etc.).