Posts tagged cannabis retail
10 ProTips Before You Start Your Legal CannaBiz Venture
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Author: Joseph Chicas | Cannabis Expert | Cannabis Advising Partners

After several years consulting in the cannabis industry and now as the Executive Director of Cannabis Advising Partners, below are some gold nuggets, some ProTips, I offer for those of you looking to start your own CannaBiz venture.

1.   Start with Your Why– Yes, I know its sounds cliché, but this point cant be understated. Do some intense soul searching, mediate on your goals, speak with your close friends and family, and dig deep to arrive at your WHY. Getting into the cannabis industry is no joke. Its highly competitive and capital intensive. It will require you to dig deep to be successful in the long-term. Being clear about your reason to be in the industry and having that reason (AKA Your Why) be sincere and authentic, is a great foundation for early success. Find your why and use it as your daily motivation. 

2.    Realize that Fortune Favors the Bold After drilling down on your WHY, realize there are inherent risks in launching your venture. Constantly changing regulations, high tax rates, inflated costs of business (i.e. real estate price hikes) all make cannabis a risky investment.

For this reason, many entrepreneurs and investors are on the sidelines. But this shouldn’t stop you. Early adopters who carve out a niche in the industry are seeing solid early returns. For instance, our clients are obtaining licenses to operate and choosing to put them on the market to be sold. We are consistently seeing 10 x returns within one year.

Obtaining your cannabis license is a low risk high reward proposition. But with cannabis prohibition slowing losing its grip, more and more licensing opportunities will occur and the space will get more saturated and competitive. Avoid the rush to the floodgates by being an early adopter, capture early market share and get ahead of the “green rush”

3.   Avoid the Red Ocean– red oceans exist where sharks are feeding on their prey. This analogous to whats happening in the cannabis industry. Despite being at the early stages, cannabis is still a highly competitive industry. Some spaces are already extremely competitive and saturated. Evaluate the cannabis landscape and see what gaps, or blue ocean, exists out there. Catch up on cannabis news, sign up for cannabis blogs, and consult with experts as soon as possible.

4.    Clarify Your Roadmap & Go – when you commit to starting your venture, go through a series of exercises to drill down on your vision and plan. Vision board, use design thinking, plan a strategic planning retreat, whatever it takes. Consulting with an industry expert is also highly suggested to get insider perspective and informed advice. Discuss your ideas with trusted and selected friends and colleagues that can give you their honest take. Narrow down your ideas and weigh the costs and benefits of each. Speak with prospective partners and co-founders. After you’ve exhausted these efforts, make a decision and GO!

5.    Have Your End Goal In Mind – failing to plan is planning to miss the green rush. Is this a short or long-term investment? How do you define success? Are you interested in vertical integration? What is your exit strategy? Once you can answer these and answer other related questions, reverse engineer and map out all critical strategies and tasks needed to achieve your end goal.

6.     Licensing is Key – Whatever avenue you choose, you will most likely need a commercial cannabis license to operate. Like any industry, cannabis licensing stretches across many verticals: retail, manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, testing, and delivery. Licensing in California is a two-fold process: obtain local authorization and then apply for a state license. Sounds straightforward, but the application itself is quite complex. Consult experts on this and don’t take short-cuts or take it all on your own.Cities are looking for applicants that know what they’re doing and the application is how you will get measured. Failed applications can result from incomplete documents, inaccurate materials, cookie cutter documents, technical oversights, language not aligned with local and state law etc. Missteps will lead to serious delays in getting your application approved. Avoid being penny wise and pound foolish.

7. Get Your Finances In Order - make no mistake, it takes a sizeable investment to get into the cannabis industry. Application and consulting fees will cost you around $100,000 and startup operational costs will cost a few hundred thousand, minimum.You will also need reserves while you strive toward positive cash flow. Additionally, city’s issue licenses for applicants that are fiscally strong and sustainable. They want to see roughly $500,000 + in your bank or in assets. If you don’t have that, find an investor or partner who does, and share your piece of the pie. There is plenty opportunity to go around.

8. Real Estate is an X Factor - to obtain a commercial cannabis license, you will need to secure properly zoned property. You can buy or lease real estate. The city and state will need to know you have permission to conduct cannabis activity at your site. Cannabis property rates are sky rocketing by the day while cannabis zoning laws can be unclear. Look out for deals that may drain your cash flow and hurt your bottom line. Contingency deals are advisable. Consult with experts to help you negotiate your terms and ensure your property fits the city’s zoning requirements.

9. Build Your Dream Team - anticipate your growth and prepare to build your dream team. Bootstrap as much as possible until growing your team is necessary.Attend trade shows, local cannabis meetups, and network on LinkedIn to find like-minded and like-spirited individuals in the space. Find technically sound people with values and mission alignment. And if you need more advanced help, seek out a cannabis hiring firm and pay them to do the heavy lifting of screening potential candidates that fit your dream team goals.

10. Course Correct, Pivot, Stay Agile and Stay Hungry - the road ahead is exciting, yet filled with highs and lows. Your plan will sometimes be met with resistance, doubt, may not be feasible or may be the wrong move. Be brave and course correct. Pivot when needed. Speed matters here so be agile. Celebrate small wins and stay humble, yet ferociously hungry.


Summary of Major Changes of the Recently Amended Article 4 of Chapter X City of Los Angeles Ordinance

The most significant updates to Article 4 include a revised definition of “Undue Concentration” to increase the number of the number of cannabis businesses and define ownership concentration.  In addition, a tiered system of “Social Equity Applicants” was permitted to allow for economically disadvantaged persons to apply for cannabis licenses.

  • The definition of undue concentration was updated to allow for additional business licenses according to population density and applicable zoning laws.  This includes:

    • One Store Front Retail (Type 10 license) for every 10,000 residents.

    • One Microbusiness (Type 12 license) for every 7,500 residents.  A Microbusiness is an entity that engages in cultivation on less than 10,000 square feet.

    • One square foot (1 sq. ft.) of cultivation space for every 350 square feet of zoned land.

    • One license to manufacturer (Type7) for every 7,500 residents.

    • Existing dispensaries (EMMD) and processors (as defined under Section 104.08) are not subject to this new rule.

    • Additional rules, including calendar days, for how applications are submitted, accepted, processed, approved and denied was also clarified. Some limits pertaining to zoning (i.e. M1-M3, MR1, MR2), as well as limits on the number of licenses (i.e. 1 cultivation license per every 2,500 square feet of cultivation space) were also delineated.

    • The Undue Concentration provisions may be waived if the City Council believes doing so would serve “public convenience or necessity.”

  • Ownership & Percentages was also updated to clarify and limit the number of individuals that may own cannabis businesses

    • A person may own or have a maximum 20% profit share in up to three Storefront retail (Type 10) or Delivery (Type 9) businesses. 

  • Three types of Social Equity Applications (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3, each which must be approved by DCR), were introduced:

    • Tier 1 applicants are reserved for those with low income AND a prior California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction; OR Low income and a minimum of 5 years California residency. 

      • Restrictions, including a minimum ownership requirement (51%), as well as benefits including expedited renewal processing, fee deferrals are also detailed.

    • A “Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to include anyone with a Low Income & 5 years' residency or 10 years residency and no less than a 33.3% ownership.

    • A “Tier 3 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to essentially include those entities that support Tier 1 & Tier 2 applicants and regulates the price per square foot of property, in certain instances.

  • Finally, this ordinance also requires a completed financial statement for the “most recently completed fiscal year” for any cannabis businesses applying for a renewal license.


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City Holding Community Meetings on Cannabis Regulations

Posted on: April 25, 2019

The City is hosting two Community Meetings to present information on the current state of cannabis regulation and collect community input on potential regulation of cannabis-related uses in Signal Hill. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn and comment on current State law, the City’s current ban, regulation in Long Beach, State and local fees and taxes and the observations of the City's Prop 64 Subcommittee. The results of the workshop will be presented to the City Council in July. 

The meetings will be held on the following dates in City Council Chambers, 2175 Cherry Avenue:

  • Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Planning Commission Meeting

The City of Signal Hill currently prohibits all commercial uses related to medical and adult use cannabis with the exception of mobile cannabis delivery, which was legalized through State legislation.  In addition, regulated personal indoor cultivation for up to six plants is allowed as mandated by State law.


Pay Attention to These 6 Cannabis Industry Trends


Scott McGovern

CONTRIBUTOR

Founder of crypto site Blocklr & Growth Nuts, an organic growth co.

Cannabis industry trends evolve faster than most markets. Not only haven’t regulations been finalized, but methods of consumption, investment and the geography of the market itself are in constant flux.

Though all the noise, these are the top six cannabis industry trends that entrepreneurs should pay attention to.

1. Cannabis industry trends indicate higher sales than ever.

The biggest evolution within the cannabis industry is that sales will be higher this year than they were in 2018, and investors, consumers and entrepreneurs alike should expect to see legal weed sales blossom for the next few years as the market grows annually.

The biggest of all cannabis industry trends for the next few years is the national and global expansion of the legal weed market. Despite a grinding legislative product that has gone much slower than advocates hoped or expected, both New Jersey and New York weed legalization is anticipated this year, along with states in Midwest (particularly Illinois) and other East Coast states. The global recreational cannabis market is projected to reach $31 billion by 2021. The CBD market alone could reach $22 billion by 2022 according to a Brightfield Group report.

The weed consumer demographic is growing ever more diverse. The average cannabis consumer is now middle-aged, with more women and seniors consuming weed in its various forms. This means that the market is growing and demand within the market is shifting to alternative products.

2. Products other than flower are gaining market share.

Like many trends that spread from California eastward, vaping in 2018 outpaced flower as the most popular method of consumption in California. Similarly, people curious to try marijuana but unwilling to smoke it are turning to edibles. Expect one of the most significant cannabis industry trends to be the continued shift away from flower and towards other methods of consumption.

Vapes: Vapes are one of the hottest cannabis products in 2019. In the first quarter of 2018, vape sales grew 69 percent total, according to BDA Analytics. CBD vape sales alone rose 105 percent over the same period.

Edibles: Regardless if we're talking chef-prepared cuisine, the humble gummy or anything in between, edibles of either the CBD and THC variety are also booming in popularity across all legal states. Here are a few statistics to show how much demand for these products increased in 2018:

  • CBD gummy sales grew 925 percent.

  • Chocolate edible sales increased 166 percent.

  • CBD chocolate sales are up 530 percent.

Beverages: Though classified as edibles, consumers and investors are giving infused beverages more attention than ever. The following trends indicate that beverages will become bigger in the next few years:

  • Big investors including Anheiser Bush and Coca Cola have entered into talks to invest in infused beverages.

  • Weed companies are already manufacturing products like hangover proof beerinfused with THC.

  • Beverages containing CBD for medicinal benefits are also increasingly popular, like lattes and smoothies infused with cannabis oil.

3. Massive CBD market growth.

2018 saw the rise of CBD products ranging from tinctures to gummies. In 2019, expect the rapid expansion of the CBD market to be among the most notable cannabis industry trends. With an annual growth rate of over 140 percent, the CBD market could eclipse the adult-use marijuana market by 2022. This is largely due to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp farming nationally.

With its new legal status, hemp and the CBD derived from it are now legal and lucrative to produce. Compound that with CBD’s reputed health benefits and the CBD industry is set for impressive growth.

In addition to promoting general well-being, CBD can help with difficult medical conditions according to research.

4. A flood of investment.

One of the cannabis industry trends shaping the entire market is growing investment from all sides. Large non-weed-related corporations are increasingly likely to invest in legal cannabis in the form of distribution deals, product design or investment in producers.

It's not just corporate players who are investing. Individuals looking for a way to cash in on the cannabis boom can simply purchase stocks. With eye-catching growth over the course of 2018 that has continued into 2019, weed stocks are attracting investor and media attention. This is especially true for large Canadian weed producer stocks.

Both plant-touching and non-plant touching weed businesses are listed on Canadian and American stock exchanges. This means more access to capital and bigger operations than ever.

5. Product variety and branding.

Above all, the cannabis industry trends towards a more sophisticated customer base that wants a variety of products with different effects, potency levels and prices. One manifestation is the growing demand for luxury products in both wellness-focused CBD products and a larger-than-ever adult-use market. These include items like luxury skincare products, high-quality edibles, and organic options, all of which is driving an ever sharper focus on branding. Brand ambassador is one of the most in-demand cannabis jobs right now.

The two best-known cannabinoids, CBD and THC, aren’t the only aspects of the plant attracting attention from producers and consumers alike. Terpenes, which are organic compounds that give weed its flavor and odor, are a growing focal point. Wonder why a certain strain tastes like blueberries or pineapple? These scents and tastes come from terpenes.

As the market grows in size and product diversity, people want access to products with a variety of flavors. Terpenes are easier to taste and therefore more important than ever with the rise of concentrates.

6. Legal weed spreads eastward.

The one cannabis industry trend that encompasses all the others is the expanding geography of the legal marijuana industry. Every state that legalizes instantly creates a major new industry. For example, socially conservative Oklahoma, ranked just 28th in population among the 50 states with slightly fewer than four million residents, legalized medical marijuana in 2018. Within a few months the demand for medical marijuana cards swamped state regulators, who have registered more than 3,000 marijuana related businesses.

The likeliest states to legalize in 2019,  including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois and Minnesota, are much larger. Most other states at least considering legalizing medical marijuana, if they have not done so already, or expanding existing programs. For weed businesses, this means shifting their attention from the West to the East Coast as opportunities emerge in untapped markets.

When New York legalizes it will be the single largest recreational market in the country. This will translate to big dividends for the businesses who capture even a small part of that market first. Keep in mind, starting a cannabis dispensary can be more profitable in newer markets than in already saturated ones.

Above all, the most significant among all cannabis industry trends are continued growth and change. Prepare for more shifts, and more opportunities, in legal weed.

Support for US Cannabis Legalization Reaches New High, Poll Finds

Leafly

March 20, 2019

https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/support-for-us-cannabis-legalization-reaches-new-high-poll-finds

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A growing majority of Americans say marijuana should be legal, underscoring a national shift as more states embrace cannabis for medical or adult use.
Support for legal marijuana hit 61 percent in 2018, up from 57 percent two years ago, according to the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey that has been measuring support for legal marijuana since the 1970s.

An analysis of the survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the General Social Survey staff finds that increased backing of legalization cut across all age groups and political parties. The 2018 poll is the first in which a majority of Republicans support legalizing marijuana — 54 percent, up from 45 percent in 2016.

Among Democrats, 76 percent now favor legalization.

The rising support mirrors the evolving legal landscape across the country. Most Americans now live in places where marijuana is legal in some form, with 10 states allowing recreational usage and more than 30 allowing medicinal use.

The GSS asks about making use of marijuana legal, but does not specify whether it should be legal for recreational or medical use.

Legalization advocates say the increasing public support should prompt the U.S. government to reverse course. At the federal level, marijuana is categorized as a dangerous illegal drug, similar to LSD or heroin.

“Our time has come,” said Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. “Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition.”

Support for legalization is strongest among 18-to-34-year-olds, with nearly 75 percent favoring it.

But older Americans are taking a more favorable view, too. Forty-six percent of those 65 and older say marijuana should be legal, up from 42 percent in 2016.

Views on marijuana legalization have shifted dramatically: In the 1973 GSS, just 19 percent supported legalization.

The change in Americans’ views about cannabis can also be witnessed on the campaign trail. A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders want the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor whose home state is the nation’s largest legal pot shop, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a prominent legalization advocate on Capitol Hill.

Support for legalization has been gradually growing for years, but it has increased sharply since 2012, when Colorado and Washington state became the first states to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.

The General Social Survey has been conducted since 1972 by NORC at the University of Chicago, primarily using in-person interviewing.

Sample sizes for each year’s survey vary from about 1,500 to about 3,000 adults, with margins of error falling between plus or minus 2.2 percentage points and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The most recent survey was conducted April 12 through Nov. 10, 2018, and includes interviews with 2,348 American adults.

Top 7 Cannabis Consultants in California

With ever-changing regulations across the industry and recently-updated policies in California, it can be challenging for cannabis newcomers to keep up with licensing requirements and procedures. And if you’re looking to launch a California cannabis retail operation, you’ll also need an understanding of cannabis business best practices and compliance mandates.

If you’re new to the industry — or new to running a cannabis retail outfit — you may want to consider the services of a California cannabis consultant. Depending on your goals and needs, a quality consultant can navigate you through the licensing application process, help you write your dispensary business plan, develop retail space layouts and floor plans, and even guide your cannabis branding and marketing.

We’ve put together a list of the top five cannabis consultants in California to help you on your journey to opening a cannabis dispensary in California.

1. Cannabis Advising Partners

Based in Long Beach, Cannabis Advising Partners assists clients with every stage of cannabis operation startup — licensing and permitting, corporate formation, strategic 280E tax planning, compliance management, staffing and everything in between. With a team consisting of attorneys, accountants, engineers, and executives experienced in liaising between industry and government, Cannabis Advising Partners is equipped to help get your cannabis retail operation off the ground.

2. Canna Advisors

Founded in Colorado by Jay and Diane Czarkowski, Canna Advisors works with cannabis businesses throughout legal states, including California. Their services include license application support and procurement, facility design, business and brand development, operations management, California cannabis compliance, and expansion services when you’re ready to scale.

The Czarkowskis are highly experienced in cannabis, having founded one of the first cultivation and dispensary facilities in Colorado, and their staff has a combined 75 years of cannabis industry experience. Canna Advisors was named the number-one cannabis consulting firm by Cannabis Business Executive in 2017.

3. Be Green Legal

Be Green Legal helps clients through the California cannabis permitting process by assisting with property surveys and site selection, facility floor plans, business and operations plans, environmental permits, and local and state licenses. Be Green’s team includes experienced land use planners, environmental impact compliance experts, and executive strategists, and they have offices in San Diego and Sacramento to assist clients throughout the state.

4. 3C Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting

As the name implies, 3C Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting provides end-to-end consulting for cannabis businesses. Services include evaluating startup financials and investor presentations, cannabis retail licensing support, site selection, facility design and development, compliance and regulatory support, as well as business planning and marketing development. 3C is led by CEO Nic Easley, who boasts more than 15 years of experience in commercial cannabis.

5. Canna Group Inc.

Canna Group Inc. helps its clients with four key elements of California cannabis licensing: site selection, retail floor plan, team development, and operational planning. Once licensed, Canna Group’s staff assists with equipment and vendor selection, compliance management, record keeping and documentation, security needs, and all other state-mandated cannabis retail requirements.

Canna Group is chaired by Grant Rollin, who also serves as CFO. Rollin spent nearly 20 years with Deloitte before going on to found and serve as a C-level executive in several high-value ventures. Canna Group’s CEO Aaron Silverman brings a strong cannabis background to the firm, having managed dispensaries, grown cannabis, and assisted numerous cannabis businesses with development, marketing, and branding.

6. VSE Solutions

Vision, strategy, and execution — three elements that make up the VSE Method, employed by the cannabis business advisors at VSE Solutions. This team of business development and cannabis industry veterans provides a suite of services including brand development, project and event management, marketing plan development and execution, and more. VSE Solutions has current and former clients in every sector of the industry — from cultivators and manufacturers down to retailers and testing labs.

7. SIVA

Glendale-based firm SIVA Enterprises provides full-service cannabis business development, offering application support, strategic partnerships, operations management, brand and product development, and more.


CAP Secures Two Major Cannabis Licensing Wins in San Bernardino, CA

CAP continues its successful navigation of the complex cannabis licensing process to obtain client licenses.

LONG BEACH and SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (PRWEB) March 01, 2019

Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP), a leading cannabis licensing, compliance, and business consultant, proudly announced that it attained two Commercial Cannabis Business (CCB) licenses for its clients at the San Bernardino City Council meeting on February 21. The two approved licenses achieved the highest ratings possible in their distinct categories.

“We’re thrilled for our clients’ successful outcomes in San Bernardino,” said Gasper Guarrasi, founder and chief executive officer at CAP. While explaining that the licensing process is time-consuming and demanding, Guarrasi credited the City of San Bernardino with its “efficient approach to the complex multi-phase process.”

Cannabis licenses in the city are awarded on a neutral point system, organized and run by HdL's cannabis program services, with the highest points holders earning the commercial business licenses. Out of sixteen total licenses awarded, CAP secured two of these positions—the number one and number three points holders overall. The two licenses were also rated number one in their respective categories of retail and microbusiness.

“CAP played an instrumental role in helping us prepare a business plan and application to help position us, our credentials and our story to secure a license,” said one of CAP’s successful clients upon learning of its win. “We look forward to our continued work with CAP on other licenses in other cities and through the compliance process.”

Background on Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP)
Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP) provides full-service licensing, compliance and business services to cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, microbusinesses and other industry-related companies. By utilizing its 20 plus years of experience in environmental compliance and management of more than 1,300 facilities, CAP provides the highest level of strategic advice in the industry. CAP advises and positions cannabis companies to properly navigate the new and complex requirements that surround all aspects of business formation and growth needs, including the submission of an annual license application, sustainability, business plans, legal consultation, investment strategies, social- equity requirements, branding and marketing, and the broad range of intricate compliance standards that are mandated by law. For more information, please visit http://www.cannabisadvising.com

Contact
Lori Rhodes
Cannabis Advising Partners http://www.cannabisadvising.com +1 800-819-0149

Web Link: https://www.prweb.com/releases/cap_secures_two_major_cannabis_licensing_wins_in_san_bernardino_ca/prweb16134775.htm