What is a Cannabis Consultant and How Can They Help Your Business?
The cannabis industry is booming, but is also complex and constantly evolving. How does one not only start a cannabis business but also navigate in a complex and heavily-regulated industry? Cannabis consultants can help. Learn what cannabis consultants are, what they do, what value they hold and how to find the right consultant.
What is a Cannabis Consultant?
Cannabis consulting firms assist individuals in establishing and operating their cannabis enterprises. They not only assist startups, but also operational businesses that desire to become more efficient and profitable as well as to expand their operations.
They play an essential role by providing support and advice in several areas, including marketing, licensing, and product development. Cannabis consultants help their clients navigate the complex and ever-changing world of cannabis regulation, ensuring that they remain compliant with all relevant laws. They also provide invaluable guidance on best practices for running a cannabis business, from cultivation to retail operations.
In short, cannabis consultants are an essential resource for anyone looking to enter the cannabis industry.
In the past, when individuals referred to a cannabis consultant, they usually meant someone who could help them with setting up, running, and maintaining an efficient and successful cannabis growth operation. In addition, the skills needed included knowledge in topics such as soil, lighting, watering, the cannabis plant itself, and other crucial aspects of cultivation. In other words, a cannabis cultivation consultant.
In 2022 cannabis business consultants are very diverse and run the gamut when it comes to specialized verticals.
Table of Contents
What Do Cannabis Consultants Do?
Traditionally, cannabis consultants have been thought of as experts in the cultivation side of cannabis businesses. However, in today’s rapidly-changing cannabis landscape, cannabis consultants perform a wide variety of duties to help cannabis companies thrive.
Cannabis consultants assist in the licensing, establishment, maintenance, and continued development of essential elements of legal cannabis operations from “seed-to-sale.” There’s a lot more to being a cannabis business owner or operator than simply growing or selling “weed”.
For example, the constantly expanding and evolving cannabis industry leads to frequent changes in laws and cannabis business compliance regulations. It’s a full-time job to stay informed of these changes, plan for them, and then develop and implement the SOPs need to stay compliant. A cannabis compliance consultant would be valuable to any operation as they can handle all the regulatory duties.
There are brand development needs, digital marketing needs, the need for compliant cannabis product packaging, accounting needs, real estate needs, and so much more. Depending on what type of cannabis operation you run, what gaps there are in your core team’s skillsets, and many other variables the type of cannabis consultants you’ll need varies from business to business.
Cannabis consulting exists to help you optimize your cannabis operations, save you precious monies, cut your overhead, and increase your profits.
For many operations investing in and leveraging cannabis consulting support and services is a wise investment. The right experts can be an extension of your in-house team, and the edge you need to compete.
What Can a Cannabis Industry Consultancy Do for Your Business?
As stated earlier, starting a cannabis company may be daunting and perplexing for a business owner with minimal understanding of the legal marijuana sector.
They not only assist startups, but they may even help established cannabis businesses that want to expand. It’s tempting to save money and go it alone, but working with a good cannabis consulting team is well worth the investment. Here are some of the ways professional cannabis business consultants can help you.
Cannabis Licensing Support
If you’re on a tight schedule, the cannabis license application procedure may be difficult and stressful. The cannabis market is heavily regulated, and competition is high, as each state may only issue a limited number of licenses. As a consequence, you must make your application stand out. Cannabis licensing consultants can help.
Many states use a scoring system to rank permit applications. As a result, the quality of your application will determine how likely you are to receive a license.
When it comes to the highly competitive nature of marijuana business applications, having a knowledgeable cannabis licensing consultant gives you an advantage. You improve your chances of receiving a license by hiring the services of a professional application writer as well.
METRC Consulting and Cannabis Business Compliance
A cannabis consulting firm will have a team of skilled compliance experts that will assist you to stay on top of the ever-changing regulations that come with the industry. By adhering to applicable laws, your cannabis business remains competitive.
Another aspect of compliance in some areas is the need for Metrc. Metrc is a cannabis industry supply chain track and trace system.
The Metrc system aids in the tracking and verification of reported cannabis inventories. A cannabis consulting firm can provide Metrc training and compliance audits if the Metrc system is required in your state.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for your Cannabis Operation
One of the most important criteria for your cannabis application is that you demonstrate your capacity to adapt to regulatory changes, keep organized, and maintain compliance. This is done by developing and implementing your company’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
A cannabis consulting firm can assist you in not just developing adequate SOPs but also ensuring that they are implemented correctly. Cannabis consulting firms have skilled technical writers who can develop thorough, step-by-step SOPs for your operation that demonstrate your facility’s capacity to operate in accordance with the state’s particular marijuana laws and regulations. A skilled SOP writer will ensure that your procedures are outlined in detail while being easy to read and understand.
Marijuana Business Marketing and Branding
In order for cannabis companies to succeed they will need a brand that stands out and a long term marketing strategy. As with other aspects of the cannabis industry cannabis brands need to be aware of the restrictions in place when it comes to advertising cannabis products.
A professional cannabis marketing and branding company can help you with everything from web design and social media marketing as well as cannabis-friendly programmatic advertising services and campaigns.
Cannabis Facility Design Build
Designing and building a cannabis facility is a complicated and expensive undertaking. There are many factors to consider, and even the slightest mistake can be costly.
This is why it’s so important to work with a team of experts who have extensive knowledge in cannabis facility design and construction. With their help, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your facility is built on time and within budget. In addition, they can help you navigate the often-complex regulatory landscape, ensuring that your facility meets all local, state, and federal laws.
Whether you’re looking to build a cultivation facility, processing facility, or cannabis dispensary, working with a qualified cannabis facility design team is essential to ensuring a successful outcome.
Investing your funds wisely is essential for ensuring that you are getting the most out of your cannabis business. One way to do this is by working with a cannabis consulting firm that can act as your design-build team.
These professionals will work together to craft a thorough blueprint for your cannabis facility, including features such as HVAC systems and environmental controls that are critical for ensuring an efficient and compliant facility. Additionally, this cannabis consulting firm will have its own expert team of architects, construction professionals, and project managers who will work together to bring your facility to life.
Whether you need assistance with electrical wiring or plumbing, these experts are here to help you every step of the way. So if you want to be sure that your cannabis business is set up for success, look no further than a cannabis consulting firm as your trusted design-build team.
Another bonus of having the design and build of your facility under one contract is dealing with a single project manager. This minimizes misunderstandings and bottlenecks, allowing for increased organization and productivity while assuring that the construction is done on time and within budget.
Cannabis Business Accounting and Financials
Keeping track of finances, accounting, and being compliant with tax laws may be daunting. Because of their understanding of the rules and regulations regarding cannabis accountancy and taxation, a marijuana consulting firm can assist you.
What Value Do Cannabis Business Consultants Bring To Your Business?
Finding someone who truly knows what they’re talking about when it comes to operating a cannabis business and or the industry itself is priceless. Good cannabis business consultants should have years of hands-on experience and knowledge that is invaluable to new operators as well as established license holders.
Business owners can use their services to get up and running, continue maintaining and growing company operations, and ultimately see continued development and success by listening to cannabis consultants’ recommendations and implementing their techniques. You can’t fake experience but you can invest in it and leverage it to ensure your cannabis business is a success.
The value of your cannabis consultant will be determined by how much they know about cannabis and the business operations necessary to run a successful company.
Factors to Consider When Hiring Cannabis Consultants
There are several factors to consider when calculating how much a cannabis consultant is worth. First, anyone who claims to be a cannabis consultant should have the ability to provide evidence of satisfied clients. If they don’t have testimonials from clients, it’s likely that they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about and are most likely inexperienced.
Another thing to consider while searching for a cannabis consultant is their area of specialty. Some cannabis consultants understand everything there is to know about marijuana. They’re knowledgeable of the plant itself packaging, cultivation, sales, distribution, 280E taxation, and regulatory compliance, among other things.
A good cannabis consultant can help a cannabis company in running an efficient and productive business or a specific aspect of their business. Some consultants may specialize in cultivation, while others might focus on dispensaries and retail. A cultivation consultant knows all about high-volume grows and what it takes to set them up and run them, but may have little to no knowledge of the dispensary side.
How Much Does Cannabis Consulting Cost?
This is another common question, and it’s one that doesn’t have an easy answer, “how much does cannabis consulting cost?”. The answer is that it really depends on each individual scenario.
Sometimes all you need is a short consultation with a cannabis consultant for a couple of hours. On other occasions, you will require their assistance in obtaining a license, or to get you up and running once you have a license, or assisting you in maintaining your business once it’s operational.
The cost of your cannabis consultant will be determined by a number of variables, such as the region in which you want to open a company and the experience and track record of success that the consultant you’re considering has. Costs might start at a few hundred dollars per hour and rise to undisclosed amounts.
In the end, a cannabis consultant should have the skills and knowledge to assist in bringing cannabis operations to market while also assisting them in remaining compliant. Their expertise, however, may differ widely across various areas of the cannabis space; therefore, do extensive research before hiring a cannabis consultant to ensure they are a good fit for your goals.
From providing expert advice on managing cultivation operations to working on business strategy and marketing efforts, cannabis consultants have become essential players in today’s thriving cannabis industry.
Whether you are just starting out or looking for ways to improve your existing cannabis business, hiring a cannabis consultant can be an invaluable asset that will help you make the most of the opportunities presented by this exciting and dynamic market.
Sheva Pekar - Founder and CEO of PsyCann Advisors
Sheva Pekar is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of PsyCann Advisors. Throughout her 7 years in the cannabis industry serving and advocating for clients in many different facets of the industry, Sheva has built a strong strategic industry vision and long game approach to business development. She has a unique skill in direct, clear, and respectful communication that has built trust and confidence in clients and colleagues. She is poised to be a leader in new and adaptive industries