There has never been a better time to start cannabis/CBD retail than now. Cannabis has for about a century been kept under lock and key and then suddenly, it reappears and everyone realizes that it was not the devil’s lettuce after all. Instead, it is simply a misunderstood ‘cure all’ that should have saved the world from chronic pain, mental disorders, heart diseases, neurodegenerative disorders plus myriad of other health conditions. The disillusioned patients are now turning away from the mainstream medications and are trying to find answers in alternative medicine, and they seem to have found it, at least for now, in cannabis/CBD.
It is 2020 and the market is not even quarterly saturated. The CBD market share is projected to hit $22 billion by 2022 and this is a clear sign to join the retail race and benefit from the CBD buzz.
So, how do you go about starting a CBD retail business?
First understand that it is not easy and plan well
Just because CBD is now a household name doesn’t make it any different from other businesses. This is because you will need to follow the normal steps and procedures that apply to other business like making a business plan, getting insurance, marketing and so on. What makes this one even harder is the extra regulatory hurdles that you will have to jump over plus the uncertainty in its ever shifting regulatory landscape.
Comply with the legalities
It is impossible to operate CBD retail outside the provided legal framework. As a retailer, you will need to first register for taxes, open a bank account, set up business accounting and finally get the required permits and licenses. You might also need a certificate of occupancy and business insurance.
Define your product/brand
Since hemp extracted CBD products are legal, the same shall be your product as long as the active THC level does not exceed 0.3%. If medical marijuana is legal in your state, ensure that your brand and policies are aligned to the laws of the state too. Gather enough knowledge on various CBD products and then settle on the ones that you want to deal in whether it is isolate, broad spectrum, full-spectrum or nano spectrum. After this, identify your suppliers and standardize your product dosage, packaging and business terms.
Strategize on marketing
CBD marketing is a slippery path because there are many things under restrictions. For instance, you cannot talk about untested assumptions, health and medical claims or anything else that has not been approved by the FDA. Since you cannot advertise it on Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram or Twitter, Your only choice is to increase your online presence through SEO, content creation, affiliate network, email marketing and also the word of mouth.
It is undeniable that the CBD industry is still loaded with challenges especially for those who want to operate a legal business. The ‘green rush’ opportunity is, however, significant and you can make a good deal of profit once your customer base is established.