How Cannabis Genetics Impact Your Business Strategy

Genetics impact everything about your cannabusiness, from whether you focus more on quality over quantity to your revenue and how you position yourself in the market. A successful cannabis business strategy begins with the end in mind and a commitment to quality in the genetics of your plants.Higher Yields Consulting How Cannabis Genetics Impact Your Business Strategy

If, for example, your end product is flower, the approach you take to genetics should be different than it would be if your end products were extracts and concentrates. 

Read on to learn more about the importance of cannabis genetics and how to create a long-term business strategy that places genetics at the forefront of your planning. 

Cannabis Genetics: A Crash Course 

When we breed plants, we cross male and female plants to get seeds. That’s what we call our F1 generation. But half those seeds will be males that we have to throw out. The other half will be females, but some will take on majority male characteristics, some will take on majority female characteristics, and some will be roughly 50/50. 

As we go through that F1 generation, we ask ourselves what characteristics we want to get from each type — like strong and girthy from the male side, and good-smelling produce with a high THC from the female side, for example. 

Once we weed out the F1 plants with characteristics we don’t want, we’ll take the females from the narrowed-down group and cross them again with the males to get our F2 generation. Of the F2 generation, the males will be thrown out again, but the females will be much more consistent in the characteristics we’re looking for. 

If we were to stop at the F1 generation, the plants likely wouldn’t produce the way we wanted them to or have enough potency. That’s why it’s important to put in the time to develop the characteristics we want through multiple grows. 

Quality Assurance: Start at the End

Your end goal and your plants’ genetics go hand in hand. For example, imagine you have two plants. One tests at 30% THC and gets you two pounds of light. The other  plant tests at 20% THC, but gets you three pounds of light. 

If your goal is extraction, the first plant will be more efficient. But if your business strategy is to sell raw flower, the second plant will produce more biomass and therefore be the better choice. When you know what you’re growing for, you know what characteristics you need your plants to have.

Many cannabusinesses have quality assurance (QA) programs for the back end of their product. Once the product is finalized and trimmed, it passes through QA before being brought to the shelves. But many businesses neglect the QA process for their plants’ genetics — and they shouldn’t. 

Know the Data of Your Plants

QA will give you a more accurate idea of not only what crops you can expect to yield but also the timeline they will need. Indoor growing follows an assembly line, so it’s critical to know how many times you can turn over the space and build that into your business strategy. 

If some plants take 14 weeks to finish flowering and others take eight weeks, you’ll end up having a gap in your assembly line. And any time plants aren’t under the flowering lights, your cannabusiness is losing money.

Higher Yields Consulting How Cannabis Genetics Impact Your Business Strategy

When you understand the data of your plant, you have a better idea of what to expect from it and when you’ll need to fill gaps in the assembly line. Then you can more accurately determine if a given plant qualifies to be brought into your facility in the first place.

For example, if you have 10 feet between the table and the light, you need to know that your plants will only grow to be eight feet tall and not 10. In this way, your plants’ genetics impact everything in your facility, from lighting and space to THC and beyond. 

Fit the Plants to the System

Another mistake we see people make is trying to tweak their system to grow a certain strain in their facility. This is dangerous because when you give certain plants special treatment, you open the door for missed or double doses, pests, and all kinds of other issues. 

Instead of adjusting your system to cater to specific strains, only bring in strains that suit your system. It could be a great plant objectively, but if it doesn’t fit your system, it’s going to take up precious time and resources. 

Genetics & Brand Messaging 

The impact genetics have on your brand and messaging really goes back to the question of quality versus quantity. Do you want to be the Budweiser or the Delirium of cannabis? 

If your business strategy is for your product to be accessible and common, then you’re prioritizing quantity — although, of course, quality always matters. If you’re a high-end brand, on the other hand, quality should be your chief concern. You can demand a higher price for a special, stand-out product.

Also consider what you want your brand to be known for: novelty or dependability. Do you want to be known for your staple products or for bringing new strains to the market? Both strategies work, but they have to be well thought-out. 

You need a solid business strategy from the beginning, detailing how you’ll get to your end goal — be it quality or quantity — and how you’ll make your product resonate with the people you’re trying to bring it to.

The cannabis market is maturing. People do want potency, but they also care about cannabinoids and terpenes. When you factor genetics into your business strategy and can explain to your audience how you are controlling the quality of your plants and the traits you are breeding for, you will stand out from the crowd. 

Start Building a Successful Business Strategy Today

A strong cannabis business strategy starts at the beginning with a solid understanding of how genetics impact your entire business. You need to have a plan in place for every part of the process, all leading to and supporting your end goal. 

At HYC, we understand how cannabis genetics impact your planning and long-term success. Contact us today to learn more and start implementing better quality assurance in your business.

How to Win Grants for Cannabusiness Funding

As a cannabusiness — whether you’re a cultivator, an extractor, or a manufacturer — you have the opportunity to solve problems. Procuring your cannabusiness funding through grants will give you greater opportunity to solve those problems, but you’ll have to approach the application creatively. 

At HYC, we’ve developed a procurement process to help clients apply for these grants. We always start the process by establishing the client’s “why” as defined in Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle.

Higher Yields Consulting How to Win Grants for Cannabusiness Funding

If you’re considering applying for cannabusiness funding from grants, start with why you created your business in the first place. Then ask yourself how you can use grants to further that purpose and solve problems in your community or the world at large. 

Read on to learn more about how to apply for and use grants for your cannabusiness funding and the greater good of your community.

Let Your “Why” Guide You

Winning grants for cannabusiness funding is less about the stage of business you’re in and more about your “why.” One of our clients, for example, is still in the conceptual stage of their business, but they have a strong purpose centering their business around education and alternative medicines. 

Figuring out your “why” gives you the opportunity to explore avenues you may not have thought of yet, and also to flex your creativity. 

For instance, consider a company that wants to empower affordable housing and building practices. If they make tiny homes out of shipping containers for homeless people, they would be able to qualify for grants on both the state and federal levels for assisting with homelessness. 

Think about what you have at your disposal and what resources are already out there, and pay close attention to social and economic issues. Then determine what you can do to help solve those issues. 

Creative Partnerships Open Future Possibilities

As you look at social issues around you, listen to different perspectives so you can form a well-rounded opinion. That way, you’ll be able to see the different avenues to try and accomplish your goals.

For example, water will likely become a rare commodity in the future. How do we head that off and make the cannabis cultivation process — which is usually very energy and water intensive — more efficient? 

Get creative in answering these types of questions and identifying people and companies to partner with. Solar panel and battery companies are examples of groups that may not have direct avenues into cannabis but are able to effect change from outside the industry in different ways than you could on your own.

Higher Yields Consulting How to Win Grants for Cannabusiness Funding

And you never know: Down the line, these companies may have the means to take 80% of a cannabis cultivation facility off grid. With increased participation in the market, opportunities for innovation — and cannabusiness funding — also increase. 

How to Apply for Cannabusiness Funding Grants

If you’re looking to gain cannabusiness funding through grants, understand that the process could take 6 to 12 months. Remembering your “why” in times of difficulty and second-guessing will keep you going when you feel discouraged.

While the process varies some and requires a great deal of imagination, there are four basic steps to follow:

  • Understand your “why” and your forward-facing social aspect that allows you to give back to the community.
  • Get clear on the problem you’re hoping to solve and how you plan to solve it.
  • Apply with a greater mission in mind — grants aren’t going to make you rich, but they will enable you to do some good in your community.
  • Get help if you need it, because grants are competitive. 

Keep in mind that what you put out there has to be reflected on the inside, too. If the grants you’re applying for don’t match up with your “why,” then you need to try something else. 

Think Outside the Box

The cannabis industry is not a single pie that everybody is trying to get a slice of; it’s a bakery. The pies are going to keep coming because cannabis is not a limited-time deal. Because the industry is still in its infancy, possibilities for cannabusiness funding are endless — especially with the right amount of creativity.

We had an office space neighbor, for example, who received a substantial grant for small business development. They were brokers working with shipping containers, but they got that grant because their containers could be associated with affordable housing and help solve the homelessness issue. 

Winning grants isn’t about who you are — whether that be a shipping container broker or a cannabusiness. It’s about what you do with your position in the world. 

These days, transparency is everything. If you’re going after grants for your cannabusiness funding, make sure your “why” is at the heart of your business and that it shows in everything you do. 

For help designing a successful business plan that expresses your “why,” contact HYC today.

How to Expedite the Cannabis Property Selection Process

Real estate often causes cannabusiness owners to spin their wheels. With short application windows and the need to have contingency plans in place, it’s easy to prolong your search for the right cannabis property.

But finding the right location for your cannabusiness doesn’t have to take forever. If you do it right, you can speed up the process and get to building your business faster. That said, a cannabis property must meet very specific zoning requirements and should thus be approached differently than other kinds of real estate.

Higher Yields Consulting How to Expedite the Cannabis Property Selection Process

To that end, we’ve developed an expedited process to help you find a cannabis property without getting blindsided by common real estate roadblocks. 

Here’s our step-by-step process for finding your cannabis property more efficiently.

Start With the Green Zones

The first thing you need to know is how to choose the areas in which to look for your cannabis property. Many people do this by choosing a city, downloading a list of 1,000 or so properties in that city, and narrowing the list down to 100 properties from there. 

But once they start going through those specific properties, they find that none of them actually qualify as cannabis properties because they aren’t zoned properly. 

We created our green zone assessments for this very reason — because no one wants to settle on a location only to find out their cannabusiness isn’t legally allowed to operate there. Instead, our process starts with establishing where the facility you plan to operate is allowed to be, and then choosing from those locations.  

Research the Requirements

Once you know where your cannabis property can legally exist, do your research to find out what requirements it will need to meet, with special attention to regional and municipal setbacks

Usually, a city will determine setbacks based on how far the property is from a dispensary or how many dispensaries and cannabis facilities can be in a certain ZIP code or territory. But they’ll also dictate how far a facility must be from churches, day care centers, schools, and rehab facilities. 

These kinds of facilities are constantly shutting down and opening up, but the city might only update their green zone map once per quarter — meaning the map can become inaccurate within a week. 

At HYC, we use a number of systems and databases to create our own up-to-date green zone maps with all relevant setbacks factored in. From there, we search for addresses within those areas, giving us a narrowed list of addresses we then verify with the city to determine if they truly qualify to be used as cannabis properties.

Get Boots on the Ground

Once we have our narrowed list of potential properties, the next step is to get out there and physically scope out the area. Sometimes you’ll even find a cannabis property that isn’t in the system because it isn’t for sale or lease just yet.

Higher Yields Consulting How to Expedite the Cannabis Property Selection Process

Don’t be afraid to knock on the doors of qualified properties and ask about the company’s lease and when it expires. But be very targeted in which doors you knock on, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time. 

Above all, you need to have a process. A lot of brokers make the mistake of thinking any property will work and end up whittling down the list of possibilities into locations that in fact won’t. 

Protect Yourself From Real Estate Pitfalls

Even once you’ve found the property, you still need to be strategic as you negotiate with the landlord. Some landlords may try to charge more or create a bidding war once they find out you intend to use the space as a cannabis property. 

Protect yourself when negotiating for a cannabis property with a contingency agreement, which keeps you from being bound to the property if your license application is denied. Contingency agreements can be difficult to negotiate because of the risk they pose to landlords, so you may have to explore creative solutions.

In some cases, you can put the landlord’s mind at ease by putting down a deposit or agreeing to a smaller monthly lease until your application is officially approved. You might even have to give up equity in your business to be able to lock down the property. 

If you’re lucky, you might work with a developer who’s early in their career, has a bunch of properties, and is willing to roll the dice on your cannabis property while they get the others up and going. 

Finding a Cannabis Property Doesn’t Have to Take Forever

Choosing your cannabis property can be one of the most difficult parts of opening up a cannabusiness, especially if you approach it like you would any other type of real estate. But with the right process and tools, you can minimize risks and choose your property efficiently. 

To get expert guidance and a tried-and-tested process, contact HYC for a green zone assessment and to find the most lucrative cannabis property for your business.

How to Write a Winning Cannabis Business Plan

Writing your cannabis business plan is a vital step in the licensing process — regardless of what kind of cannabusiness you plan to open. When done right, your business plan will set you up for your best shot at success. 

Since your cannabis business plan will include a lot of information that’s needed on the license application, complete your business plan before you start the application process. You’ll also want to have it done before you ask for any investment money, so be sure to include the information your investors will want to see. 

Higher Yields Consulting How to Write a Winning Cannabis Business Plan

At HYC, we typically have an eight-week timeline for writing cannabis business plans. If you choose to write your own, though, plan on it taking a good three to six months, and have a consultant review it to make sure you have everything you need. 

Read on to learn more about how to craft a solid cannabis business plan that will make you stand out from the crowd. 

Key Sections of a Cannabis Business Plan

While each cannabis business plan is as unique as the business it represents, there are several main sections every business plan must include. 

First, the executive summary and bio plays several important roles, such as:

  • Laying the groundwork for what your business will look like, what your goals are, and what your business’s vision is. 
  • Illustrating your qualifications, character, experience, and strengths. 
  • Letting investors know why you’ve chosen to open this business and why you feel qualified to do so. 

After the executive summary and bios, you’ll need to include market research for the specific state in which you’re applying for a license. Market research shows you know what opportunities are available in that state. 

Next, create a SWOT analysis to illustrate your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as a potential cannabusiness, as well as a business roadmap. Depending on the license you’re going for, your roadmap can vary but should include the real estate, your application, compliance, and design and build. 

That leads into the business development section, where you describe your next steps. After opening your initial cannabusiness, what is your end goal? Is it to sell, become a chain, or be a multistate operator? This section shows your potential as well as your goals. 

Finally, you’ll need to include a financial model summary and an assumption section. 

What Not to Do

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your cannabis business plan is being too vague. If you say you’re coming into the industry to solve a problem, you need to describe what that problem is in detail, along with how you’re going to solve it. 

Many people make the mistake of leaving out information such as the operating plan or bios. Without these, you don’t really get insight into who they are and what their goals and vision are for the company.

Higher Yields Consulting How to Write a Winning Cannabis Business Plan

Err on the side of too much information, but make sure it’s clear and concise. Above all, give the application reviewer a thorough understanding of who you are and where your business has potential to go. 

Stand Out From the Crowd: Cater to Your State

To write a cannabis business plan that stands out from the competition, start by looking at the state and its priorities. Then, tailor your business plan to show exactly how you will meet the criteria the state is looking for.

For example, if your state places a lot of focus on environmental impact, show what you’re doing to operate in environmentally friendly ways. If it’s concerned about compliance — how everything is regulated and tracked. — illustrate how you will set up SOPs and training to ensure your facility is 100% compliant. 

Or, if the state’s main focus is on social equity and inclusiveness, show them how you plan to hire and train and give back to the community. That said, if you are going to be a multistate operator, you’ll be taking on a bigger responsibility to be more inclusive of each state’s goals. 

In that case, you’ll need a cannabis business plan that shows how all of your businesses will be operated similarly throughout the different states — so you have a cohesive brand — but that you’ll also hit the main focus and concerns of each state in which you plan to operate. 

Get Expert Help for a Winning Cannabis Business Plan

Writing a cannabis business plan is a much larger undertaking than anyone foresees. If you’re a multistate operator or just getting started owning your first cannabusiness,, you will likely have blind spots, and missing something a particular state prioritizes will severely hurt your chances of getting a license. 

Working with a consultant and an expert team to write and review your cannabis business plan will ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation and start setting your plan in motion.