The first piece of advice I have is obvious… make sure you keep up with even the subtlest of changes to regulations and trends in the cannabis business. Small changes to cannabis business can yield major changes and adaptation for its ancillary businesses.
Know your audience. Though this is a new and emerging market, a subculture has been curated and cultivated over decades. This industry’s cultural norms will be vastly different from anything we have seen before. Knowing these cues and understanding the nuances of the space and the power players operating and pioneering this space is as critical to gaining strategic partners and alliances as the metrics and numbers are. These all are influencing decision making and ancillary companies must be diligent about keeping their finger on the pulse.
In general, the 3 ancillary areas I would focus on are equipment, packaging, and tech.
Equipment is king. Companies with machinery and equipment that have the ability to produce a higher volume of product at a higher efficiency will be the real winners when it comes to ancillary options. Anything that will facilitate quicker production will be crucial to industry growth and growth within the industry. Those people stand to make a lot of money.
Another area that holds a ton of potential is packaging and labeling. Consider how pivotal everything from the glass bottles to the product labels and warnings to the shelf display are to an emerging cannabis brand! Regulations and restrictions for labeling will present an issue for cannabis companies. Companies that can ensure they are following industry standards will be paramount for growth. Additionally, branding and advertising will be a major component to customer acquisition and companies will shell out big bucks to ensure their products are displayed properly and strategically. State by state regulations increase volume and relevance of this category.
Lastly, there is TECH. Technology is what is going to help us understand the industry from seed to dispensary. This actually could be the first industry that is fully and legitimately supported by block chain technology from the ground up. Technology will create critical software, help with data collection, fortify banking, and mechanize processing. IT will help entrepreneurs and investors make decisions about where and how they want to invest. They will be able to look at the supply chain in its entirety and essentially choose their spot in the process.
There are limitless opportunities in the cannabis industry right now. In general, a focus on efficiency and proficiency will be key in all business ventures. For more of my thoughts and industry expertise, check out my social.