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.
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.
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.