5 Tips For Finding Cannabis Real Estate

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5 Tips For Finding Cannabis Real Estate

You’ve decided to open a cannabis business, but first thing is first. You need a piece of real estate to operate on.

Finding the perfect piece of real estate is usually the first step in applying for a cannabis business license, whether it is for a dispensary, a cultivation operation, an extraction lab, a consumption lounge or a distribution headquarters. No matter what aspect of the cannabis space you hope to work in, your property choices will be a huge factor in the success of your application – and your eventual business. Planning ahead to make the right choices on property can be the difference between colossal failure and a thriving business.

Commercial Cannabis Real Estate Properties – Where to Start?

Not sure where to start? You aren’t the only one.

But don’t worry. John Valdez, Higher Yield Consulting’s top real estate broker and VP, is here to help with our best tips for finding the right cannabis real estate for you.

Read on to learn how to find your ideal property and set your cannabis business up for success:

1. Location, Location, Location is Paramount When It Comes To Commercial Marijuana Real Estate

The old saying about what’s most important in real estate “location, location, location” applies to cannabis as much as anything else. When you are choosing where to operate your business “the main thing is your location” explains Valdez.

Still, the considerations about location might differ depending on your business type. So think about what your business will need to thrive. For example, Valdez suggests that “if you are doing a cultivation facility, you want to build that close to transportation, where you can get your product out the door soon as you can.” On the other hand, Valdez says that “if you’re doing a dispensary, you want to make sure that you have good foot traffic, because you want a location where you’re clients are able to get to you easily.”

Your location will have a big impact on what you can really do with your business so make sure you find the right place to launch – with everything your business needs to succeed.

2. Learn the Local Cannabis Business and Real Estate Regulations

As you consider location, you should also learn about the local regulations for cannabis businesses in that area. It’s no good finding your perfect piece of real estate only to realize that it doesn’t have the right zoning for your business type. And these local regulations can be much more complicated than just zoning.

“Zoning is a key thing,” explains Valdez “but you want to make sure that the municipality is allowing that type of use.” There are so many aspects to these regulations, it can be easy to overlook something. “I’ve been working with consumption clubs lately” Valdez offers as an example, “and in Colorado setbacks are different for consumption clubs than they are for a dispensary.” Tiny errors on calculations for things like setbacks can be the difference between buying a usable or unusable property. So make sure you have experts on your team who can delve into the local laws and understand what you need.

3. Find a Broker and Cannabis Real Estate Team You Can Rely On

When it comes to your real estate broker, make sure you find someone who you can trust to navigate the complicated task of finding your property. “A broker that’s in the cannabis industry is crucial to having a successful closing and start up to your company” explains Valdez. “If you have somebody that doesn’t know what they’re doing, you can tie your project up for a long time before you even start that application.”

For this reason, Valdez says “one of the biggest things that I would recommend to you when you’re looking at real estate for cannabis is hiring a professional, not only a professional broker but hiring a professional team.”

Cannabis specific real estate brokers understand the rules and regulations involved in using a property for cannabis and they already have contacts in the space. This is needed for finding the right property. Still this knowledge could be strengthened with the help of a good consultant. “Brokers should have a general idea of what the local restrictions are going to be, but having a consultant to verify it is also going to be key” says Valdez.

In addition to your broker and consultant, a good design expert is also a crucial member of the team. They can help assess what improvements might be needed to make a property functional, so you can make an informed purchase.

4. Pay Attention to Available Services

When considering a property, you should also look at the services available. Depending on your business, you may need particular services like access to enough electricity to power an indoor grow, or good internet access for a business headquarters. Whatever your service needs, you may want to find a property that already meets them. “What kind of service is on the property?” asks Valdez “Because your electrical service, your heating, your air conditioning service, those are things that you want to take a look at because those are high dollar items.”

You might plan to just upgrade your services when you move in, but in some areas upgrades aren’t possible or are extremely expensive. It’s best to plan and budget all of this before you make the final purchase. The last thing you want is to buy a property that you can’t make work.

5. Consider Retrofitting a Potential Cannabis Property Carefully

This brings us to the last tip – consider retrofitting carefully. When you are deciding whether to build a new building, retrofit an old one, or just find a property that already has what you need, it might seem like retrofitting is the cost saving option. But that’s not always the case – so a cost/benefit analysis is key for this decision. “For retro-fitting you want to make sure to see what you’re going to be able to salvage and what the build is going to be on it” explains Valdez.

To figure this out you need to know how much are you going to have to spend on the build out for a retrofit or renovation on the property. “Sometimes you can look at it and say, ‘hey, it’s going to cost us an extra $800,000 to build this out.’ Let’s take a look at building a facility from dirt.”

Before buying your property, think carefully about what kind of site improvements will be required. When these improvements are ignored, something as simple as a sprinkler system could add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your costs.

The Importance Of Commercial Cannabis Real Estate

Those are our best tips for finding your perfect property, but they just brush the surface of this complicated process. If you are still feeling confused on how to proceed, Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting can help. Our knowledgeable consultants have helped cannabis businesses in over 30 states to find the right property and successfully launch. We can help your business navigate the process as well. 

Schedule a FREE Consultation
Whether you already own a cannabusiness or want to get into the business we can help.

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Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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How to Build a Strong Cannabis Dispensary Team

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How to Build a Strong Cannabis Dispensary Team

Building Your Cannabis Business Executive Team

Opening a dispensary can be a big project, with a lot of steps along the way. But one of the first and most crucial steps in putting together a successful dispensary plan is building a strong executive team. These foundational decisions about who will join your team can affect every other aspect of your business, from applying for a license, to day-to-day transactions with customers. Making sure you have a strong, cohesive team of experts will set you up for success and ensure that your dispensary gets off on the right foot.

Not sure where to get started? Here are our top tips for building your executive team:

Cover Needed Team Roles

While building your team, it’s important to start by considering the important roles that need to be filled to create a successful dispensary.

Your executive team should include a CEO or someone who is heading up the vision of the project, as well as a strong financial partner who has the funds to make your business dreams a reality. You will also need someone with the experience and skills to keep the books, and make sure your financial plans for the future stay on track.

Having a director of retail operations is also must for any dispensary. This person will run the sales side of things, which is key for the dispensary model.

Another important role is the compliance officer. There is a lot of red tape, and tricky regulations to navigate when opening a dispensary. Having someone focused entirely on keeping your dispensary compliant will help avoid a lot of risks and headaches for your business.

Because dispensaries tend to employ a lot of staff, having an HR director can also help. You will need to stay compliant with employment law, and manage things like health insurance and employee complaints. An HR director can focus entirely on these tasks.

Another important role is the Director of Security. This person will create a security plan for your dispensary, and ensure the safety of your staff, customers and product.

Finally, some states actually require a doctor or pharmacist be on the team. This isn’t always the case, but even when it isn’t – this expertise can be a big help on any team.

Filling all these roles is important, but this can be done in so many ways. Sometimes one person takes on a multiple roles, or some roles might be filled by consultants or temporary hires. What’s key is that someone is responsible for each of these areas. So start a list of the roles you need filled and look for the best people to fill them.

Fill Your Team with Experts

As you begin to find candidates for your team, consider their level of expertise. To set yourself up for success, look for experts in whatever role you are filling. Sometimes these experts come from the cannabis space, and have a lot of direct experience working with this plant and industry. In other cases, your experts might come from other fields but have expertise in a particular role (such as sales, HR, real estate, or book-keeping). What’s important is that they have a strong skill set for the kind of work they will be doing in your company.

Check Track Records

It’s also a good idea to check a candidate’s track records. Have they had a lot of success doing the kind of work they will be doing for you? In many states, applications are judged based on merit. This means they are more likely to give out licenses to those with a strong proven track record for success in cannabis, making money and paying the bills on time. If you put together a strong team with members who have a history of success in the type of work your company will be engaged in, you may have a better chance at having your dispensary license application approved – and you’ll also be set up for a successful business.

On the other side of things, you might want to do some background checks on the people you’ll be teaming up with. Criminal records never look great on a license application.

Include Locals in Your Cannabis Dispensary

While expertise is key, location can make a big difference as well. If you are opening a dispensary in an area that you don’t live, teaming up with some locals is a great idea. Most local governments aren’t friendly to the idea of people coming in from outside to create cannabis businesses, and make money off their citizens without creating any jobs. If you’re team is coming in to a new location, having some locals on the executive team can help to build a local presence and show regulators that you are interested in bringing jobs to the local community.

Consider Culture Fit

It’s also incredibly important to consider the culture fit between members of your team. Even if you put together a team full of brilliant experts – if they can’t get along, your business may be doomed to fail. Many businesses fall apart because of conflict on the executive team. So make sure that your team makes sense as a cohesive unit before you launch into a business together.

Use Cannabis Consultants to Fill in Gaps

While an ideal dispensary plan might include all the roles listed above, it’s not always possible or necessary to have each of these roles filled by a full-time employee. A more pared down executive team can sometimes make more sense, as it can be more affordable and agile. The smaller your operation, the more likely it is that a smaller executive team makes sense for you.

If you find that you can’t fill all the roles listed with a full time staff – don’t worry. There are so many options for services and consultants who can fill in the gaps. From HR services, to lawyers, to CPA’s, there are a lot of experts who can be hired to do specific work so your staff doesn’t have to. If cannabis specific expertise is what you need, you can also find cannabis specific consultants who can guide you through the complicated details of this highly regulated, high-reward industry.

At Higher Yield Cannabis Consulting, we’ve helped many executive teams fill in the gaps in their cannabis expertise, and successfully launch into the cannabis space. We’d be happy to help fill the gaps in your team as well – or help you find team members that are a perfect fit.

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Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Creating a Cannabis Business Plan

cannabis business plans

Creating a Cannabis Business Plan

Cannabis Business Plan – Where to Start

Trying to start your cannabis business plan? It’s one of the most important documents you’ll create when it comes to the success of your business, so it’s worth putting in some time to get it right. Not only should this lay out all the details of how you’ll pull off your big cannabis business idea, but it is also the document that investors will look at to decide whether your business is worth taking a risk on.

At Higher Yields Consulting, we’ve helped many entrepreneurs to craft successful business plans that entice investors and set up a business for success. So, we thought we’d share some tips on how to create a business plan that makes investors take notice.

Gather All The Pieces for s Successful Cannabis Business Plan

Once you have a strong idea for your cannabis business, you’ll want to spend some time figuring out what you need to make it happen. You may already have some pieces of the picture in place, so start with what you have and then figure out what else you will need. Perhaps you already have a strong team, but need to find a piece of real estate to operate from. Maybe you already have a piece of land, but you need a financial partner to fund development of the property.

Get together the details of everything you need to make this cannabis businessplan to work, such as real estate, a strong team, a business strategy, and well developed financials. If you find something is missing, research and then describe what it will take to obtain it. This could mean spelling out the cost of the real estate you’d like to purchase, or the cost of recruiting that expert you need on the team. Whatever it is, if it is required to make your business function, it should be included in one way or another in the business plan.

Create a Strong Strategy with Cannabusiness Financial Plans

Creating a strong strategy with realistic financials is also a huge part of the battle when it comes to making a successful business plan. Your investors want to know that you have a strategy for how to create and sustain this business in its current market. Consider how your business will stand out from the crowd? Do you have any competitive advantages when compared to the competition? How will you grow your brand and market share over time? Developing this part of the plan can take a lot of creativity and business experience. But, it is also the part of your plan that lays out how you will move forward. If it isn’t well developed – you probably aren’t ready to start a business. If you aren’t confident in what you have, find help from consultants or other experts in the field to develop something great.

Include an Exit Plan

One of the most important parts of a business plan, from an investor’s point of view, is the exit plan. You might think it’s bad form to talk about what might go wrong in your business, while trying to convince an investor to fund your project. But actually, this is one of the key aspects of the plan that investors look for. While your investor might believe in the business and its potential for success, they also know that 90% of startups fail, and this one might too. So investors want to know that there is an exit strategy for how to recoup costs if things don’t go to plan. This might be as simple as reselling or leasing the property that was being used, or even selling off your cannabis license to a bigger player in space. So look over the assets you have or want to acquire. What could you do to recoup funds if things go south and you need to shut down?

Get Help Filling in the Gaps

It’s not at all unusual for an entrepreneur to feel overwhelmed by the task of creating a business plan. It’s a big task with a lot of complex pieces, and it requires expertise in a lot of different areas. If you are doing it by yourself, you’ll likely find there are gaps in your knowledge where experts might be able to offer assistance. There is no shame in asking for help. This business plan will set up your entire operation for success or failure so find help from consultants or other experts to fill in the gaps.

When we work with clients at Higher Yields Consulting, we utilize our experience to help steer them in the right direction. We’ve been through business plan creation so many times, and can help clients develop a strong strategy, build solid financials and avoid common pitfalls in the planning process. We can even help navigate tricky questions like how much equity to preserve while still making an enticing offer to investors.

If you need help crafting your business plan, contact us to see how our team of consultants can help you create a plan that will stand out from the crowd and make investors want to sign on the dotted line.

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Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Cannabis Business Planning 101: Finding Your Big Idea

Cannabis Business Plan

Cannabis Business Planning 101: Finding Your Big Idea

Planning For Your Big Cannabis Business Idea

The green rush is here. With more and more areas in the US and abroad shifting their policies to allow for legal cannabis, the marijuana industry has become the fastest growing industry in the world. Still, while many want to get involved with the space and cash in on the rapidly expanding market, not everyone has found a big cannabis business idea that can can stand out against the competition. Let our consultants help you understand proper cannabis business planning from the ground up.

At Higher Yields Consulting, part of our work is to help cannabis entrepreneurs brainstorm big ideas that can bring even bigger returns. So we thought we’d share some of the basic steps you can use when brainstorming your own big idea. 

Assess Your Expertise – Do You Need a Cannabis Business Consultant?

When we work with clients on brainstorming business ideas, we usually start by assessing their team and the expertise they bring to the table. So to get started with your own brainstorming session, consider the backgrounds of the people on your team. What skills do they have which might transfer to the cannabis industry? If someone comes from real estate, this could be helpful for more real estate driven business models. Does your team have a background in sales? Perhaps distribution is a good fit. Come from a manufacturing background? You might do well with extraction or product manufacturing. Got a talented chef in the mix? Try doing something with edibles. Will you need to bring in cannabis business consultants to help you accomplish your goals?

Whatever skill sets are present on your team should be the starting point for your brainstorming process. There is no point moving forward on a brilliant business idea, if your team won’t be able to actually pull it off. So make sure you design a plan that speaks to your expertise and feels like something you can make happen.

Cannabis Business Planning – Understand Your Market

While it’s key to start with your own teams expertise, you also have to find an idea that fits into the market you are working in. Even if you craft the perfect plan for your team, if it doesn’t work well in your particular area, it’s just not the right idea. So you will also have to look at where you are at, and how to modify your plans so that they make sense in that context.

Part of this stage is looking at the cannabis services already available in your market. You want to notice if there are gaps (areas where a service or product is needed) or areas of over saturation.

For example, in Colorado there is an over saturation of cannabis cultivators, but much fewer cannabis dispensaries. In this market you can make a lot more money opening up a cannabis shop than you could trying to compete as a cultivator with a stand-alone grow facility. So if cultivation is your team’s skill set, but your in Colorado, a market that is over saturated with cultivators, you’ll need a good plan. You might consider a plan that includes vertical integration so you can cash in on your growing skills by selling your cannabis through your own storefront. These market factors can be the difference between success and failure, so you should always take them into account when you are brainstorming your big idea.

Calibrate Your Financials

Finally, it’s important that your idea has the financials to support it. It’s great to dream big, but you need to have a realistic plan for reaching those big goals. If you know you have a certain budget, make sure that your plans are achievable within that budget. If you are courting investors as part of the process, you’ll need to have a strong business plan with a financial strategy that shows you understand what it will take to make your idea happen, and how much return your investors can expect to get back. Your numbers need to make sense with your plan and show that the business can be profitable. This will not only put investors at ease and increase the likelihood that they will want to invest, it will also ensure that your plan has it’s best chance at success. All in all, it will save you a world of heartache and stress later down the line.

If all this sounds like a big project, it certainly can be. Planning a successful new business isn’t a simple task. After all, 90% of new startups fail. That’s why getting advice and insight from expert consultants can be a big help. From brainstorming, to sharing insider knowledge about the different cannabis markets, to assisting with the complicated financial planning, our consultants have a lot of experience with this part of the process. Feel free to contact us for help or advice on finding your big idea.

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Cannabis Consulting: Why Your Cannabis Business Might Need A Complete Compliance Audit

cannabis compliance

Cannabis Consulting: Why Your Cannabis Business Might Need A Complete Compliance Audit

CANNABIS COMPLIANCE –  OVERVIEW OF THE BEST FOUNDATIONS

In the new cannabis industry regulations have a way of creeping up on you. Cannabis compliance regulations are in a constant state of change as the industry is just beginning to grow and adjust as is the case with any new market.

How does a cannabis business hope to stay on top of compliance and regulations?

Higher Yields Consulting helps with cannabis consulting for most cannabis businesses who are in need of fulfilling cannabis compliance requirements – in all 50 States of the U.S.

Our cannabis business compliance consultants specialize in giving a thorough compliance audit to check for any business compliance gaps a cannabis business may have.

We’ll go over the foundations for keeping your cannabis business compliant with the current and ever-changing regulations. With the foundations up to date, you’re ready to maximize your efficiency in business processing and operations.

WHAT IS CANNABIS BUSINESS COMPLIANCE?

Cannabis business compliance is the process of business adhering to established laws, standards, regulations, policies, and remaining up to date on emerging trends. When abiding by the regulations the state government sets forth, it’s necessary to have cannabis compliance as one of your primary business goals.

Cannabis compliance can help cannabis businesses achieve other goals for overall growth in the business. Taking the necessary steps to comply with relevant laws that change consistently within the industry will keep your business ahead of competitors.

Below are the following types of cannabis businesses we help through cannabis compliance:

  • Provisioning Center/Dispensary
  • Grower
  • Processor
  • Secure Transporter
  • Safety Compliance Facility or Lab Testing Facility
  • Cannabis Facility
  • Cannabis infused Product or Cannabis Edibles
  • And much more

We help cannabis businesses remain ahead of the curve through a complete cannabis compliance audit.

INITIALIZING A CANNABIS COMPLIANCE AUDIT

A cannabis compliance audit is an extensive review of a cannabis organization’s adherence to the laws and regulations. A compliance audit for any type of cannabis business will give us an idea of what stage you’re at.

Higher Yields Consulting will walk your business through all the compliant intricacies. Whether you want a cannabis business to show up on the US map (by filling out a cannabis business license application) or you need to identify a missing regulation requirement.

Our cannabis consulting company will quickly and accurately divulge the following business compliance prerequisites any type of marijuana business needs to operate accordingly within the local state.

1) STANDARDS OF GETTING A CANNABIS BUSINESS LICENSE AND PERMIT

Before opening a marijuana business, you’ll need authorization to operate through a cannabis business license and necessary permits. Our cannabis consulting company will help you through the initial application process.

As you apply for a cannabis business license there are several things the local state licensing board will need.

The basic cannabis business license requirements is ensuring your business has the following:

    • A well-thought-out business plan.
    • A well-written license application.
    • Proper documentation authorization.
    • An efficient & diligent team (contracts with trusting partners).

A cannabis business license and permit will allow you to do many things, as a business, depending on your local state’s regulation guidelines.

2) IMPLEMENTING STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPs)

Other than getting cannabis business licenses to permits, it’s important to have SOPs.

Whether you own a dispensary or a grow facility, a standard operating system (SOPs) analyzes and describes every detail in every task performed. SOPs are education and communication-based tools that help operational team members learn a functional process for efficient business growth.

3) MARIJUANA BUSINESS IN NEED OF SEED TO SALE SOFTWARE (METRC, BIOTRACK)

Our cannabis consulting includes a functional seed to sale software or METRC analysis for your marijuana business. METRC is an acronym for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance.

This is specifically design for the government to analyze transaction tracking and tracing in dispensaries, grow facilities, extraction lab facilities, or cannabis edibles production facility. METRC is an advanced way to track all necessary business production operations.

BioTrack is a seed-to-sale tracking system, similar to METRC, in the cannabis industry that helps supports many  marijuana businesses. It’s essentially seed to sale software system to analyze cash flow operations.

4) INTEGRATING AN EFFICIENT OPERATIONAL SECURITY INFRASTRUCTURE IN A MARIJUANA BUSINESS

In our cannabis consulting process of conducting a cannabis compliance audit, we ensure your marijuana business is compliant with security measures.

It’s important to build a security infrastructure to safely guard your marijuana business against negative influencers.

HIGHER YIELDS CONSULTING WILL RELIEVE YOUR MARIJUANA BUSINESS OF A CANNABIS COMPLIANCE HEADACHE

When marijuana businesses utilize a cannabis consulting company like Higher Yields Consulting, your business will operate at top efficiency and stay ahead of changing cannabis industry regulations.

As a business thoroughly abides by strict regulatory compliances (from submitting a well-written cannabis business license), to using safe security measures, the marijuana business will succeed when obstacles appear.

Contact us to get your marijuana business compliant today.

Schedule a FREE Consultation
Whether you need help with cannabis compliance or one of our other areas of expertise Higher Yields Consulting is here to help.

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Find the Path – Marijuana Startup Services

cannabis startup services

Find the Path – Marijuana Startup Services

Higher Enlightenment – Find the Path

Let’s be real, cannabis-related business is complicated.

New medical and recreational opportunities on the horizon are highly attractive markets with huge potential. However, most entrepreneurs and investors are unfamiliar with the challenges and hurdles that come with new regulatory environments, and many end up failing in their efforts because they don’t have the right systems in place.

Investing in a marijuana businesses consultant greatly increases your chance of success. With nearly a decade in the industry, Higher Yields Consulting is the nation’s premier firm. With over 100 completed cannabis license applications in 13 merit-based states and 6 countries, we have the experience, proven track record, and systems to take your business from seed to scale.

Our 4-step Higher Enlightenment process equips owners and operators with the tools and know-how to get started and navigate the industry with confidence.

Find the Path is Step 1 and the foundation for creating a successful business. These marijuana startup services will prepare your business to weather the complex challenges of the always-evolving legal cannabis industry.

Find the Path is the road to success in the cannabis industry. Whether you’re just getting started and looking for a team to help manage and direct the process, or if you’re interested in shoring up your operations to become more efficient and compliant, we can help.

Contact Higher Yields for a consultation on how Higher Yields Consulting can be of service to you!

WHY CHOOSE HYC FOR STARTUP CONSULTING SERVICES?

 
  • Applying for a marijuana business license is a timely and often arduous process. With high stakes and high competition in new markets, utilizing our Marijuana Business Applications services will mitigate your risk and make you an attractive candidate to regulators
  • We’ve provided services to domestic and international clients and worked in dozens of varying regulatory frameworks. Our cutting-edge consultants will work with you to create a consistent and compelling narrative. With customizable templates, award-winning core operating materials and procedures, our dedicated team will make this process efficient, saving you time and money.
  • An optimized operation starts with incorporating proven Standard Operating Procedures. These are fundamental base-protocols for running an effective business and navigating the changing rules and regulations. Our templates create well-defined processes and step-by-step instructions specific to your regulatory environment.
  • Different markets each have unique rules regulations – staying current and compliant is mandatory if you want to stay in business. These rules often change very quickly as regulators respond to new challenges, which can in turn cause businesses to become non-compliant overnight.
  • Our Marijuana Business Compliance services leave you confident that your operations are above-board and running smoothly. On-site consultants will complete a comprehensive audit of your facilities, identify potential violations, provide corrective action, and ensure owners and operators are properly trained in best practices.
  • A thorough understanding of METRC, the marijuana products tracking and tracing software, is essential to remaining compliant. One discrepancy between this software and your inventory can spell disaster for your business, as you will face heavy fines or risk losing your license.
  • Our METRC Reconciliation services will help you discover and rectify any differences. We also train your employees on proven methods to lessen inconsistencies, empowering your teams and giving them confidence to handle future errors with ease.
  • Marijuana business tax structures are complicated and many startups are taken by surprise when they close out their first year of operations. With our 280E Tax Structure services you will gain a clear understanding of this arcane rule and have a strategy in place to minimize your liability and increase your bottom line. Our consultants will help you save annually by reducing taxable income through the proper allocation of taxable goods.

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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California Cannabis Consulting

California cannabis licenses

California Cannabis Consulting

Why Choose us for Cannabis Consulting in California?

 

So why should you choose Higher Yields Consulting for cannabis consulting in California? We have years of combined experience with the legal marijuana market. HYC was active and present in the first state to legalize so naturally we’ve been through all the regulations and pitfalls that are bound to be obstacles in states with new legalization legislation. Do not trust just anyone with your investment, choose experience, choose results.

California’s new recreational cannabis industry is on track to be the largest market in the United States with an estimated $3.7 billion in sales by the end of 2018. Over 400 licenses were issued on the first day of legalization, and the state is projected to bring in $1.4 billion in tax revenue by 2021.

As the world’s sixth-largest economy, and with a population of over 40 million residents, now is the time to get in on the industry and become established in California’s marketplace.

Competition will undoubtedly by very high as licensed recreational dispensaries and grows begin to roll out across the state – the companies and organizations that will be successful and have longevity will be those that not only stay compliant with California’s cannabis laws, but also differentiate themselves in unique and innovative ways.

With three separate state agencies regulating the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing, retail sales, and micro-business compliance, navigating California’s legal cannabis framework can be a bit of a maze.

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CalCannabis) is part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and regulates cultivation. The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) is part of the California Department of Public Health and regulates the manufacture of cannabis. The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) is part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs and oversees the distribution, testing, retail sales, and microbusiness compliance.

Additionally, there are over 17 license categories depending on the type of business, along with an arduous application process. This may all seem like a headache, especially for already well established grows operating behind the scenes yet, thankfully, California is undergoing a legislative effort to bring the existing cannabis industry under regulation and above board.

Again, the businesses that will succeed in this industry are those that comply with the new laws and regulations established by the state.

Getting started in California’s cannabis industry means a lot of time, money, and paperwork. For example, applying for a license not only comes with a hefty fee (depending on the type of operation), but also requires evidence of a surety bond, evidence of enrollment with the applicable regional or state water board, evidence of a hazardous materials record search, identifying all power sources for cultivation activities, a property diagram, a proposed cultivation plan and, last but not least, arranging financial services and banking.

At Higher Yields Consulting, our team of experienced professionals can handle the process from A to Z. We’ve worked with established business who want to remain compliant, and helped new owners get off the ground running with all of their paperwork in order.

We not only offer business services that cover your compliance and banking needs, but also garden design and management, marketing branding, and design services.

By working with us you’ll know that you are compliant, your grow is operating smoothly, and that you stand out from the crowd with our innovative, outside-the-box thinking on attracting customers to your products and services.

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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A Tale of Two Marijuana Markets: California & Colorado

cannabis consulting

A Tale of Two Marijuana Markets: California & Colorado

All eyes turned to Colorado in 2012 when voters passed Amendment 64, leading to the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014. Colorado was the first state to implement recreational marijuana rules, making it the nation’s most mature market. Colorado quickly became a marijuana mecca, driving the trend and setting standards for subsequent states that fell in line. As the pioneer of cutting edge cannabis reform, Colorado continues to provide insight into how a regulated market functions. With the November 2016 passage of Denver Initiative 300, granting businesses the ability to allow adult marijuana consumption in designated public areas, Colorado continues to set pot precedent. Colorado’s marijuana narrative tells a story of successful implementation, performance, and continual growth.

From the nation’s oldest regulatory framework to its largest, California’s cannabis market will become a legal reality on January 1, 2018. The longtime pot-friendly state will be governed for the first time since medical marijuana became loosely regulated in 1996. Rules and regulations are being crafted to ensure the booming black market will not undermine California’s attempt to create the nation’s largest, legitimate marijuana economy. California cannabis is projected to be a $5-$7 billion dollar business, with state and local governments collecting taxes breaking a billion during the first year. In a state with such economic vitality, sporting the 6th largest economy in the world, California’s new industry is set to impress.

ECONOMY

From July 1, 2104 to June 30, 2015 the Colorado Department of Revenue reported marijuana generated $700 million in revenue, and nearly $76 million in taxes during the first year of legalization. Just shy of one billion, sales jumped to $996 million in 2015, with marijuana taxes and fees almost doubling at $135 million. In 2016, Colorado crossed the $1 billion dollar mark in the first 10 months of the year, totalling 1.3 billion in revenue, and $200 million in taxes collected. Both state and local municipalities are beginning to reap the budding benefits from Colorado’s marijuana regulation and tax structure. Colorado imposes three different taxes on marijuana sales: 15% excise tax, 2.9% tax on medical and recreational sales, and 10% sales tax on retail sales. In May 2017 Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the budget bill creating the “Marijuana Tax Cash Fund”. All tax revenue pouring in from pot sales goes into the general fund which distributes dollars to various programs. Amendment 64 supporters were promised the first $40 million collected from recreational excise tax each year would go to the BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) fund. BEST backs capital school construction, renovating and replacing deteriorating public schools. Based on legislative appropriations for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the general fund will create housing programs for at-risk populations, health programs in public schools, aid the mental health crisis in jails, combat Colorado’s current opioid epidemic, target illegal marijuana sales, and contribute to continued industry oversight. Although the influx of new cannabis revenue hasn’t made a dent in statewide debt, many rural economies are experiencing substantial benefits. Amendment 64 legislation left it up to individual towns and cities to decide whether or not to allow marijuana business. Similarly, municipalities also have the ability to disperse local tax funds how they choose. For Colorado towns struggling with the collapse of industries past, typically coal and oil, embracing cannabis has had a significant impact on their local economy. In a southern Colorado town, Pueblo pot proceeds are funding the country’s first cannabis scholarship program. The Pueblo County Scholarship Fund will benefit county high school graduates planning to attend Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo.

California is projected to collect more than $1 billion in tax and licensing revenue in 2018, the first year of adult-use legalization. Nearly two decades after approving medical marijuana, the new adult-use market is estimated to increase more than tenfold. California’s blossoming industry is set to be the “pot” of gold at the end of a regulated rainbow, and has been touted as the nations legalization tipping-point. New Frontier Data and ArcView Market research predict tax revenue will balloon to $3 billion in year two and nearly $4 billion by 2020. Two types of taxes will be levied on California bud beginning in 2018; a cultivation tax of $9.25/oz. on “flowers” and $2.75/oz. on “leaves”, and a 15% excise tax on medical and retail consumers. Due to an oversight in Proposition 64, medical marijuana consumers have been given an extended tax holiday through the end of 2017. The initiatives blunder effectively eliminated the medical marijuana sales tax buyers had been shelling out prior to passage. Despite promises of explosive growth, the snafu could cost California nearly $50 million before it begins collecting billions in 2018.

While Colorado legislation has chosen to funnel the majority of marijuana money into the public school system and local governments; California has chosen a different avenue, imposing restrictions on public use of the funds. The measure shys away from relying on a ‘sin’ tax to fund ongoing budget requirements. Instead, California pot capital will be used to offset the perceived social and financial harms that surface from legalization. The new stream of tax dollars will create and expand drug use prevention and treatment programs, benefit at-risk youth, and fund research, environmental restoration, and law enforcement efforts specific to cannabis. Administrative start-up cost will be taken off the top to cover regulatory oversight of a new marketplace. $10 million annually for 11 years will be awarded to California public universities researching and evaluating the impact of legalization on public health, safety and economic influence. The California Highway Patrol will receive $3 million annually for the first five years to develop protocols for drivers suspected of being impaired by marijuana use. Various social and medical programs will receive assistance, beginning with $10 million, and increasing annually until 2022. Appropriations granted University of California’s, San Diego Center for Medical Cannabis Research $2 million annually for an undetermined amount of time. Californian’s are waiting to see how the new source of revenue will break down on a community level. Local measures appearing on city and county ballots propose levying separate local taxes. Authorities are still puzzling over a proper balance of municipal taxes to benefit the local budget, without forcing cultivators and vendors back into the black market. The budding business potential is preparing California for a new high; however, similar to Colorado, the new stream of tax revenue will only contribute approximately 1% to the state’s budget.

RULES AND REGULATIONS

The nation’s attention has turned to the Golden State while California regulators scramble to create a new recreational framework. California’s ‘wild west’ governance under Proposition 215, resulted in little to no state oversight of the medical marijuana industry for the past 20 years. The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) was passed in 2015 moving the state closer to a regulated and transparent industry. On November 8th the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Cannabis Act (AUMA) was passed, legalizing adult-use marijuana in California. Beginning November 9, 2016 recreational marijuana consumers, 21 and older, can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, or eight grams of concentrate. An individual also has the right to grow up to six plants inside their residence, same as Colorado. With new freedoms come a bevy of regulations encompassing cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, and sales.

With existing farms estimated between 50,000-60,000, the sheer size of California’s agricultural base and anticipated demand, intensifies the scope of a regulatory rollout. Unlike Colorado’s system of dual regulation, California is attempting to amalgamate the two structures. Colorado compliance expert, Kady Cravens, believes they are on the right track.

“This is a wise choice. Separate structures and vertical integration in the medical market comes with a lot of confusion. There are essentially six license types in Colorado – store, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transporter, and operator. Once you divvy those up between medical and recreational, we have to run all licenses as their own business. Meaning we have to operate, file, and report them separately. California is eliminating the need for multiple licenses, fees, and work from a seed-to-sale point of view.”

Governor Jerry Brown’s Budget Trailer Bill passed in June 2017; the legislation attempts to streamline the process of combining MCRSA and AUMA under one regulatory structure. The bill leans toward the more liberal regulations outlined in AUMA. Marrying the rules are projected to lower industry operating cost and ‘maximize public and consumer safety.’ California’s experimentation with a single regulatory structure could heavily influence other states depending on their success.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

With current Trump administration and drug warrior Attorney General Jeff Sessions promising to crackdown on federal marijuana policy, supporters and opponents have turned to Colorado for data on the pot-crime link. While Jeff Sessions speaks to the dangers of “real violence” fueled by the adult use of marijuana, officials armed with state and local data continue to debunk connections between increased crime rates and cannabis legalization. Figures released from the Drug Policy Alliance noted in the first year of legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado, Denver, the hub of pot sales, saw a 2.2% drop in violent crime and an 8.9% reduction in property crime offenses. In 2012 City of Denver safety officials began tracking marijuana-related crimes, concluding they accounted for less one percent of all offenses calculated. Arrests for the possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana dropped dramatically, preventing the criminalization of non-violent offenders. According to a federal survey released in early September, teen marijuana use has fallen to a 20-year low. Colorado’s high school cannabis use falls below national average; a drop in teen use could reflect a diminishing black market, attributed to current policy. Effects of California’s legalization measure remain to be seen, but are likely to mirror Colorado in terms of crime and youth consumption. Unique to California’s Proposition 64 is a lesser-known provision allowing people previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes to ask for reduced sentences or record changes from felonies to misdemeanors.

In the industrial, working-class Denver neighborhoods of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea, the significant presence of marijuana operations have left long-time residents concerned and questioning the industries local impact. In a 15 mile vicinity, there are roughly 21 marijuana license per square mile, leaving residents feeling inundated by cannabis businesses. A new, Denver specific requirement, now mandates a community engagement plan must be submitted with new license applications and renewals. The requirement is an effort to proactively engage cannabis businesses with neighbors and fellow businesses, and ensure they do not negatively impact the surrounding community. Owner of Elyria-Swansea pot-shop Starbuds, Brian Ruden, believes the new stipulation encourages cannabis companies to give back to their community.

“Starbud’s has met with local community groups. We’ve had open, honest conversations about their perceptions of the marijuana industry, how it impacts them, and how it can help them. Starbuds collaborated with neighboring residents, drafting a letter to the city requesting pot tax funds for community development. Residents requested a bridge over the highway to connect the isolated neighborhood and college scholarship programs. We’re trying to hear their needs and help facilitate where we can.”

Denver license applicants address the requirement with varying approaches. The community engagement plan must include a “plan to create positive impacts in the neighborhood where the business is located”, “procedures for addressing neighborhood concerns about the business”, and “policies to promote community engagement and involvement in the marijuana industry in a positive way.” Reports out of Colorado suggest concerns of negative impacts on local residents are unfounded. Legal cannabis operations appear to benefit neighboring communities through their contribution to economic development, charitable organizations, and community service programs.

Many California cities have chosen to compel positive industry influence by requiring a similar neighborhood compatibility plan and community benefits section as part of their licensing process. Applications are ranked on a variety of evaluation criteria during a four phase process. The neighborhood compatibility plan is part of the initial ranking, the section should address how the organization “will be managed, so as to avoid becoming a nuisance or having impacts on its neighbors and the surrounding community.” Applicants are assessed on the community benefits criteria if they move past the initial evaluation phase. The community benefits section should describe benefits the business would “provide to the local community, such as employment for local residents of the City, community contributions, or economic incentives to the City.” Community impact priorities vary between applications; businesses often identify program areas of interest. These initiatives look different for each marijuana organization, from neighborhood revitalization, to youth development, to environmental restoration.

California cannabis community impact is currently measured and viewed in terms of economic development and tourism. The potential economic impact from Proposition 64 cannot be understated in terms of job creation. Although evaluation models between Colorado and California are not directly comparable due to California’s existing robust medical market, legalization is sure to be a boon for the states job market. California’s pot paradise will attract a great deal of cannabis tourism. Marijuana enthusiast have been visiting the state for years, capitalizing on the existing commerce will be beneficial for cities embracing pot sales. Municipalities with strong opposition to legalization are taking steps to ban sales in an attempt to squelch pot tourism within their communities.

CITY COMPARISONS

Southeast Colorado cities Pueblo and Trinidad have fallen on good fortune thanks to the states green rush. Colorado’s marijuana law allows for local control, giving municipalities the option of embracing or opposing sales. The once booming, blue-collar, coal mining towns of Pueblo and Trinidad opted into Colorado’s pot experiment and have experienced an economic revitalization. Trinidad pot-shops are the first encountered traveling north from New Mexico on I-25. Trinidad’s border state status has created extensive marijuana-driven tourism, where the majority of customers come from out-of-state. Approximately 10% of Trinidad’s general fund is made up of tax revenue from yearly marijuana sales. The infusion of marijuana-related cash keeps local officials coming back for more.

A perfect storm of industry-friendly regulations and abundant sunshine, access to water, land, and labor, make Pueblo an oasis for growers looking to cultivate outdoors. Pueblo’s pot bandwagon offers hope to the once economically depressed city. Colorado municipalities can choose to impose their own tax; Pueblo County’s 2% excise tax on cultivation will collect more than $1 million this year. Pueblo has faced devastating unemployment rates since the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company shut its doors in the 1980s. The city’s current plummeting unemployment rate is closely tied to marijuana-related job growth. Cannabis projects are keeping Pueblo’s construction and real estate sectors satisfied. Pot taxes have helped fund the new Institute of Cannabis Research at CSU-Pueblo; the nation’s first cannabis research center at an accredited university. Los Sueños Farms, the largest legal cannabis farm by acreage in North America, calls Pueblo home. Marijuana has given Pueblo a new economic identity. Still, even in the most accepting cities, opposition rises. Similar ballot measures in both Pueblo County and City (Question 200 and 300, respectively) requested a repeal of marijuana ordinances for the sale, cultivation, and manufacturing of retail cannabis. If passed, forced closures of existing businesses threatened to shut down the burgeoning industry. Backers of the initiative cited a rise in homelessness, a new, and unsavory reputation, and illicit homegrows. Cannabis naysayers argued the increased cost of medical and social services attributed to an influx of marijuana consumers, outweighed tax revenue. Voters ultimately rejected the 2016 proposal choosing to stay cautiously optimistic of a regulated recreational regime. Pueblo’s market remains second, only to Denver, and perfectly positioned for the outdoor market.

Meanwhile, California community, Nipton, prepares for buzzed bliss. American Green, Inc. recently purchased the entire town of Nipton, taking the label of cannabis-friendly municipality to the next level. Home to 20 permanent residents and 120 acres, plans to resurrect the gold rush rail town could redefine cannabis tourism. American Green hopes to create the “first energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination”, beginning their venture by bottling CBD infused water from a local aquifer. American Green wants to create a “hub for the production of cannabis-based products”, in addition to pot-based tourism. Mixed reactions often cloud small towns looking to cannabis to stimulate their economy, however, Nipton appears to be a clean slate. With plans to invest another $2.5 million over the next 18 months, the pot-friendly outpost near the Nevada-California border will be a unique social experiment and approach to legalization and revitalization. It remains to be seen whether this weed-friendly resort will turn Nipton’s gold past, into a green future.

Article Written By:
Jordan Courtner

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

The Latest from our cannabis consulting blog