Halloween Cannabis Strains and Horror Movies

halloween cannabis

Halloween Cannabis Strains and Horror Movies

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Halloween and harvest have a long history with the American culture, dating back to our very foundations as a new colony and eventually an independent country. They’re as American as apple pie at this point, and recently they’ve been joined by a new legal crop that was also a part of our foundation, cannabis. Cannabis sativa with low THC content, also known as hemp, was a staple in the New World, something to be traded and celebrated, a tool to help colonists survive and even thrive in the early days of what was to become the USA. As we all know somewhere along the way this wonderful plant was demonized and criminalized for political and financial gain. A little over a decade ago that all changed as legal cannabis started spreading across the USA once again.

Halloween also has a long history in this country, and most certainly came to us as new colonists and eventually citizens brought with them their cultures’ traditions. From the Celtic Samhain and All Hallows Eve Halloween eventually evolved into the mainstream pop culture of the United States. Many of us have fond memories of trick or treating and binge-watching horror movies, some of us even had to suffer through a whole year to see them. Thankfully we have a gazillion streaming services now and can view our favorite horror movies year-round. Halloween has brought with it many traditions, but none seemed have stuck with me as long as horror cinema has.

We decided to have a little fun this year in honor of the biggest cannabis harvest season yet. We’ve compiled a list of cannabis strains that could have been inspired by Halloween. We picked through hundreds of strains to come up with a list, and we’ve also suggested an appropriate horror movie for each strain on the list. Truth be told we could have made 10 of these lists, which means this will be a yearly tradition here at Higher Yields Cannabis.

Halloween Strains and a Movie! Two of my favorite things. I can fondly remember the first time I saw “The Thing”, and also the first time I got high. Both have also influenced my work as a creative professional and brought great enjoyment to my life.

We hope you enjoy the video and yell at us for leaving off “The Exorcist”. We at Higher Yields Cannabis wish all of you a successful and bountiful harvest season and a Happy Halloween.

Reap what you sow! Be safe and enjoy the season with family and friends.

The Youtube version can be found here.

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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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Michigan Marijuana Laws & Tips for Winning a License in the Great Lakes State

michigan cannabis licensing

Michiganders from Kalamazoo to Sault St. Marie have compelled lawmakers to reshape Michigan marijuana laws as of late. In 2008, voters approved medical marijuana and a law was enacted the following month making it legal. Then, in November 2018, citizens returned to the ballot box, voting 56-44 to approve recreational cannabis use. And just in time, too. If you’re ready to explore what the cannabis industry has to offer business owners in Michigan, it’s time to get hip to the jive of Michigan marijuana laws and discover what business options are available for you.

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Using A Hemp Brokerage & Consulting to Maximize the Life of Your Hemp Business

Hemp Brokers

Whether you’re trying to sell your hemp and lock in a profit before you harvest or you’re looking for supply but you’re not sure where to turn to get the highest quality goods, working with a consulting firm that manages deals and establishes relationships can be the key to your business’s success. So how does hemp brokerage work and how can it impact your growing hemp business?

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Marijuana Marketing & Branding for Your Cannabis Business

cannabis product marketing

In an industry with loads of pop culture references, associated symbols, and plenty of overdone canna-tations, you need to decide exactly what you want to be known for. When you’re part of a 12 billion dollar industry, ask how you can connect with those who want what you’ve got.

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Marijuana Laws in Illinois: Maximizing the Odds of Winning a License

Marijuana Laws in Illinois: Maximizing the Odds of Winning a License

A few years ago, Illinois limited their cannabis business licenses to fewer than twenty. Recently, the state’s newest governor, J. B. Pritzker, has begun to open up the marijuana laws in Illinois to allow for more licenses – meaning more opportunities for growers, manufacturers, and retailers. While state markets like Colorado and California are relatively easy to break into, other states like Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are notoriously competitive, which makes winning a license in the Prairie State an arduous feat. Here’s your guide to maximizing the odds of winning a cannabis business license within the context of the new marijuana laws in Illinois.

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Choosing the Right Marijuana Property for Your Cannabis Business

Choosing the Right Marijuana Property for Your Cannabis Business

There’s a lot the cannabis industry has working against it – like sophomoric legislation, gray legal areas, and closed-minded banking partners – but one of the most overlooked factors is real estate. Finding the perfect marijuana property for your budding business is no small feat, and there are far more factors than most business owners realize. From key decisions such as “To buy or to lease?” to “To vertically integrate or niche down?” the nuances of securing success start in the earliest days of building your business. Here’s what you need to know as you’re scouting out your business’s new home.

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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. 

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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 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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5 Tips for a Successful Cannabis Dispensary License Application

Cannabis Business Team

5 Tips for a Successful Cannabis Dispensary License Application

Getting started on your cannabis dispensary license application? It can be a complicated process! Just ask Higher Yields’ application writers and consultants. We’ve been awarded licenses in over 13 states, in both the adult use and medical markets, and it hasn’t always been an easy road. But with the right approach, getting approval is within reach.

Here are our top 5 tips for a submitting a successful cannabis license application:

1. Don’t procrastinate! Plan ahead to finish your application on time.

This tip might seem obvious, but many applicants put off working on their application until the time is almost up. The last thing you want is to end up in the 11th hour throwing things together without much intention.

Each application has a big list of requirements, and it’s important to make sure each section is strong and complete. Plan ahead and delegate sections so you can make sure you have time to finish with a competitive application.

Dispensary License

2. Put together a strong team with a good business history.

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. 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 should have some experts in your field, a strong financial partner, and consultants with the experience to fill in any gaps. Some states even require a doctor or pharmacist be on the team.

Your application should be built around the strengths of your team, so make sure it is a team worth highlighting.

3. Create detailed operations plans.

It’s important to create detailed operations plans for your application. This is one of the harder parts to put together, because it requires someone experienced in the industry who can really understand the day to day operations of your business. This can be a challenge because many business owners don’t know the details of day-to-day operations that haven’t started yet. These plans need to cover everything involved in your business including things like compliance, community engagement, record keeping, audits, security and more.

This is once place where consultants can be extremely helpful. We have thousands of pages of operating plans already created, which can be cut down and customized to your business.

4. Find the right real estate – but buy on a contingency.

Another crucial aspect of your application is the real estate. You need to find just the right property to house a cannabis business. This property should meet all the zoning requirements of your state, and local jurisdiction, and be suitable for the day-to-day needs of your business. But once you find that property, you also have to convince the owner to let you purchase or rent on a contingency. This is easier said than done, since many owners don’t want to wait around for months to see if your approved, but it is important. That last thing you want is to end up with a unusable property, if your cannabis license application is denied.

Finding the real estate on contingency is one half of the battle, but then you will also need to get the local government to approve. Some jurisdictions have officials that just want to help applicants get going and start bringing in some tax revenue, but others are trying to slow things down and make things difficult. Finding real estate in an area that’s more friendly to cannabis business can make a big difference.

5. Build a local presence.

Wherever you decide to start your business, it’s important to build a local presence. Most states and localities aren’t crazy about people coming in from outside to create cannabis businesses, and making money off their citizens without creating any jobs. So, it’s important to have a local team, or at least have members of your team that are local.

Moving to the area for even a few months before you submit your application can also make a difference. Get involved in the local cannabis community, go to the local political meetings and town hall meetings about cannabis, meet the decision makers and show your investment in the community. Establishing strong relationships with regulators can help later when they are grading applications. Plus, attending these meetings gives you a front row seat to new developments, so you won’t get caught off guard to any changes in the local cannabis policies.

Need some help with your application? Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting can help. Our knowledgeable consultants and application writers have helped cannabis businesses achieve licensing success in over 13 states. We can help your business navigate the process as well. Contact us to get started creating a cannabis license application that stands out from the crowd.

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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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3 Big Mistakes to Avoid on your Cannabis License Applications

3 Cannabis License Mistakes

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid on your Cannabis License Applications

The Complex Cannabis License Application Process

Writing a cannabis business license application isn’t always a walk in the park. It’s an extensive project that requires expertise, planning, and a lot of hard work. So there are few things more frustrating than attempting to go through this long process only to have your application denied.

Unfortunately this is often the situation for cannabis entrepreneurs who are looking to build a new business but unaware of the common pitfalls and problems that might arise while applying.

At Higher Yields Consulting we’ve helped applicants in 13 different states achieve licensing success, so we know just how tricky it can be. To help you out, we’ve created a list of the 3 biggest mistakes you can make while applying for your cannabis license application.

1. Underestimating the Cannabis License Process and Procrastinating

Perhaps the biggest mistake that applicants make when applying for a cannabis business license is to underestimate the work and time it will take to finish. Procrastination is tempting, especially when you may be delayed on finishing certain sections while you work out the details. But this procrastination can be the kiss of death, leaving applicants bumping up against their deadlines without time to actually complete the hefty application.

Instead of procrastination, make sure to plan out every aspect of your application. It may seem like one big project that you can knock out when the time is right, but it’s actually a lot of smaller projects, like building a team, creating the operational plans, meeting regulations, recruiting, real estate, development, and financials. Each one of these is their own project and needs to be taken seriously and meticulously planned out in advance. Finish your application early and make sure to have the most detail oriented person on your team look it over. Make sure every section is complete and properly filled out, so you don’t get rejected over a technicality.

cannabis loicense

2. Doing Your Cannabis License Application on Your Own

As we mentioned above, completing your application is a huge endeavor, so don’t try to do it all by yourself. This is a common mistake that usually ends poorly. The most successful applications are usually put together by a team of cannabis professionals working together, not a single individual.

Plan out with your team who will complete each section, so you can all start working, filling out your individual pieces in tandem. For each section of the application, make sure that the person writing it has the expertise and experience to do a great job. This means you should either have that expertise already present on your team, or find consultants who have the knowledge to help you fill in the blanks. You will need a lot of different people and you need everybody to be moving forward together at the same time. Make sure roles and responsibilities, as well as internal deadlines are clear for everyone involved, so that you can stay up to date with your external deadlines, and never miss the deadline for turning your application in.

3. Saying Too Much on Your Cannabis License Application

One other common mistake that people make on their application is saying too much about their future plans. Maybe you are applying for a cultivation license but you’d also like your business to do work with extraction. Some applicants might think it makes sense to share their future extraction plans while describing their cultivation plan. But these details aren’t relevant to those who are deciding about your cultivation license and could actually cause confusion or problems.

For example, regulators might think that you are planning to do extraction based on only the cultivation license and get confused. Or maybe your local regulators aren’t as friendly to extraction as they are to cultivation, and would see your cultivation plan less favorably knowing your other plans for the future. Either way, sharing too many details can get in the way and cause big problems.

Instead, stay focused on a clear, simple and consistent plan, one that is relevant to the the license type you are applying for. You can always do planning in the background to prepare for the future. Just don’t add it into your current application.

Looking for help with your application? Our knowledgeable consultants and application writers have helped cannabis businesses achieve licensing success in over 13 states. We can help your business navigate the process as well.

Contact us to get started creating a cannabis license application that is set up for success.

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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.

The Latest from our cannabis consulting blog