Franchising Helps Entrepreneurs Navigate the Complicated Cannabis Industry
As a franchise consultant and a New Jersey resident, I have kept a watchful eye over the cannabis industry and cannabis franchises in particular. In November 2020, New Jersey residents overwhelmingly voted to legalize cannabis in the Garden State. On February 21, 2021, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, signed three laws regarding the legalization of marijuana.
Seventeen months from the initial referendum, the big day arrived. Recreational retail stores opened their doors to the public for the first time on April 21, 2022. New Jersey became the fourteenth state to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana and penalties for underage use were reduced. Lines were wrapped around the cannabis dealers’ buildings the moment they opened for business.
According to nj.com, “The commission has approved 102 conditional licenses for smaller cultivators and manufacturers, many of which have diverse ownership.” It could take up to a year for these operations to begin selling weed. As noted from the timing of how long it took to get doors to open to just how few were granted permission to sell, this is an incredibly complex business model. It is also ideal for the franchising space. There are cannabis consultants charging six figures to help investors navigate this world with no guarantee that a license will even be granted.
Why Work With a Cannabis Franchise?
The foundation of franchising is to create a system that is easier to navigate if you are given the right training, product, location, and services. A good cannabis franchisor continually studies the recreational retail space and improves on its processes from A to Z. By aligning with a reputable cannabis franchisor, investors with zero experience or knowledge can have ownership in this space.
The cannabis industry is rife with supply chain issues Covid notwithstanding. Due to federal regulations, plants cannot be transported across state lines. Cultivations in many states will have to be started from scratch. Franchise systems work to get the product first and get the best pricing due to their relationships nationwide. They also ensure quality and create standards across all franchise locations regardless of the state.
Across the country, many small dispensaries have been shut down due to a regulation infractions. Franchises will have a compliance team on staff to ensure that your business is always up to regulation. You will not have to worry about staying on top of the laws that are likely to be ever-changing for years to come.
For any retail establishment, location is critical. This is even more important in the cannabis industry. There are regulations regarding proximity to schools and houses of worship. A franchise system identifies the best location for a cannabis enterprise to ensure it is in full compliance with local zoning codes and has the best chances to bring in solid foot traffic.
Creating brand awareness and consistency is a top goal for cannabis franchisors. With a cannabis franchise, customers have the same experience and level of quality products at every location.
A cannabis franchise can be completely passive. Meaning that you would have your team completely trained, and you could merely be an investor in your business. Either way, you and your team will receive extensive training. That training will include measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that you are running a lean and green machine. Franchisors offer in-depth product training and strategies for providing the best customer service.
Challenges of a Cannabis Business
Since legalization has not been passed on the federal level, cannabis remains a cash business. Loans are few and far between and cannabis franchises do not qualify for small business administration loans. Additionally, you are unable to put your profits into a bank account. Luckily, cryptocurrency has become more mainstream and can be accepted as payment.
Owning a business is hard work and can require incredible resources. Why try to muddle through the cannabis industry on your own? If you are truly interested in staking your claim in the cannabis industry (which is expected to reach $48 billion by 2026), then do all your research and be sure to include franchising as a viable option.
“Without a standard, there is no logical basis for decision making or taking action.” —Joseph M. Juran