You can only run a successful cannabis business if you know this one thing…
During the American gold rush, writer J.S. Holliday observed, “The people who went to California by the tens of thousands were greenhorns – city folks. They didn’t have a callus on their hand, had never fired a rifle, had never followed a plow, had never rode a horse, didn’t know up from down in terms of the wilderness world, the frontier life. And they weren’t interested in it.”
As you can imagine, many of those who took that insane 180-day trip to the West Coast never made it. They got sick, starved, or fell to a host of other tragedies.
Arriving was no guarantee of success, either. Disease ran wild in those makeshift towns. Food was scarce. And the greed saturating the area led to more crime.
Still, over 300,000 folks tried. Because when a gold rush is underway, people only focus on the opportunity. Risks, as treacherous (or likely) as they may be, vanish as an air of naiveté takes over.
Never Pay a Doctor to Do an Electrician’s Job
It blows me away how many people think the cannabis industry is easy.
“It’s a weed, so it must just grow!”
That attitude brought a lot of people into something they knew nothing about.
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I mean, what does the average electrician or doctor know about growing, or terpene content, or how to distribute a product at scale across an entire state?
Yet, many decided they would start their own growhouse, distribution facility, or dispensary. And for most, it was nothing but pain.
It’s not as if the cannabis industry is terribly complex (especially not for a surgeon). But there is a set of skills that are essential to every part of this industry. And if you can’t quickly acquire or hire those skills, you won’t make it.
Skills to Pay the Bills
So, what essential skill am I talking about? The ability to judge flower to market.
But it’s not.
A lot of things go into judging flower, such as:
- Terpene content. The more terpenes, the better the smell, taste, and overall effect the strain will have.
- Grow style. For example, organic sells for a premium but may yield less for farmers.
- Cannabinoid content. Higher THC strains sell faster. That said, different combinations of cannabinoids lead to different effects.
- Bag appeal. Are the trichomes large, making the flower look frosted? Is the bud itself orange, purple, light green, brown? Is the structure dense or fluffy? Are there seeds? All these things matter.
- Trim quality. Was it hand-trimmed? And if so, was it done well or sloppy?
- Name. Cannabis strains fall in and out of popularity all the time. But there are some that have been around a long time and will always be popular. It’s important for large farms, distributors, and stores to carry both.
At this point in my career, I can look at flower and answer most of those points within 10 to 15 seconds.
It took me hundreds of flower cycles to gather the kind of insight I have into genetics, flower, and what goes into a quality product.
I can’t tell you how much flower I’ve seen during intake, or when I’m scoping out different markets.
There are a lot of people who may have consumed a lot of cannabis, but unless they lived and breathed everything cannabis for 50 to 70 hours a week over many years, then they won’t know enough to truly be successful.
I cannot emphasize this enough: If you want to start a cannabis business, you need to understand flower on a very deep level.
If you don’t, then you need someone you can trust. Someone with a lot of experience specifically in the cannabis industry. That person will become crucial for your business moving forward, so choose wisely.
I hope this helps anyone thinking about getting into this industry.
Next week, I’ll discuss the big mistake most entrepreneurs make when they first get into the cannabis industry.
Advisory Board Member, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
If you listen to the media, you’d think Gen Z is the most exciting thing to happen since Canada‘s full legalization. They’re a lot more open to cannabis. They view it as a better alternative than alcohol. Charlie hears those arguments a lot. And it’s true that eventually, they’re going to spend a lot of money at dispensaries across the country. But here’s the thing about Gen Z…
7 responses to “The One Essential Skill Needed to Start a Cannabis Business”
May 05 2020