Cannabis legalization is creating new opportunities in franchising

Franchise industry, franchisors, franchisees

Cannabis legalization is happening all over the country and prompting clever entrepreneurs to create new opportunities in franchising. Just this past November, five more states approved the adult use of cannabis sales, including New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, Mississippi and South Dakota and the trend is expected to continue. In fact, New York’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced a plan to legalize recreational marijuana.

Anticipating a need for a safe, clean and fun place to enjoy cannabis, entrepreneurs Ron Silberstein and Mark Cohen created Bud’s Place, a BYO cannabis consumption lounge franchise. “In the same way people like to go out for drinks despite the fact that they can enjoy alcohol at home, people will want a place to go out and smoke,” says Silberstein. “There’s a huge social aspect to cannabis.” 

Silberstein also points out that Bud’s Place will be a haven for people who are on the road. “We are anticipating a lot of tourists and business travelers,” he says. “Bud’s Place is more than just a spot to smoke or eat. It’s a destination.”

Cohen and Silberstein describe Bud’s Place as a high-end consumption lounge. “We’re going after an upscale clientele with disposable income,” says Cohen. Bud’s Place customers are 21 and over, which provides for the largest demographic base of diverse cannabis users. Customers include all ages, all genders, all ethnicities and all backgrounds. 

High. Quality. Fun.

With a motto of “High. Quality. Fun.,” Bud’s Place offers a combination of food, beverages, and entertainment. Cohen and Silberstein formed a partnership with fast-casual franchisor Samantha Rincone, the founder and CEO of Crave Hot Dogs and Barbeque. Every Bud’s Place will include specific menu items from Crave. “The partnership with Crave brings a lot to the table for Bud’s, including the menu and training,” says Silberstein.

 Bud’s Place locations include a stage for live entertainment in the form of music, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, comedians and book and poetry readings. There are also VIP rooms and special/private events. 

Cohen and Silberstein’s history with each other dates back to high school, but they have very different backgrounds and complement each other’s skill sets. 

Silberstein has more than 20 years in franchising and Cohen has a vast background including an expertise in commercial real estate, financing, leasing and location management. Both men share an idealistic vision of a diverse workplace that fosters social equity. 

Timing is Everything

Tapping into a $65 billion-dollar industry, Cohen and Silberstein feel the time is right for Bud’s Place. “This is a concept whose time is now. Franchisees have a tremendous opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new industry with enormous potential,” says Cohen.         

Fast-casual fare from Crave Hot Dogs and Barbeque will be offered at all Bud’s Place locations.

“Bud’s Place is more than just a spot to smoke or eat. It’s a destination.”

Bud’s Place takes advantage of the booming cannabis industry without actually selling marijuana. It’s not a dispensary. Instead, it’s a BYO consumption lounge that offers a fun and safe place to smoke, eat and hang out. Here’s what consultants should know about this exciting emerging brand:

Booming industry: With more and more states legalizing cannabis, the $65 Billion Dollar industry continues to grow.

Multiple revenue streams: Franchise owners
make money through admissions, special events,  and food sales. 

Recurring revenue: Monthly memberships are offered at an average of $150/month.

Mature clientele: The average customer is over 35

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on industry news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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