Writing your cannabis business plan is a vital step in the licensing process — regardless of what kind of cannabusiness you plan to open. When done right, your business plan will set you up for your best shot at success.
Since your cannabis business plan will include a lot of information that’s needed on the license application, complete your business plan before you start the application process. You’ll also want to have it done before you ask for any investment money, so be sure to include the information your investors will want to see.
At HYC, we typically have an eight-week timeline for writing cannabis business plans. If you choose to write your own, though, plan on it taking a good three to six months, and have a consultant review it to make sure you have everything you need.
Read on to learn more about how to craft a solid cannabis business plan that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Key Sections of a Cannabis Business Plan
While each cannabis business plan is as unique as the business it represents, there are several main sections every business plan must include.
First, the executive summary and bio plays several important roles, such as:
- Laying the groundwork for what your business will look like, what your goals are, and what your business’s vision is.
- Illustrating your qualifications, character, experience, and strengths.
- Letting investors know why you’ve chosen to open this business and why you feel qualified to do so.
After the executive summary and bios, you’ll need to include market research for the specific state in which you’re applying for a license. Market research shows you know what opportunities are available in that state.
Next, create a SWOT analysis to illustrate your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as a potential cannabusiness, as well as a business roadmap. Depending on the license you’re going for, your roadmap can vary but should include the real estate, your application, compliance, and design and build.
That leads into the business development section, where you describe your next steps. After opening your initial cannabusiness, what is your end goal? Is it to sell, become a chain, or be a multistate operator? This section shows your potential as well as your goals.
Finally, you’ll need to include a financial model summary and an assumption section.
What Not to Do
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your cannabis business plan is being too vague. If you say you’re coming into the industry to solve a problem, you need to describe what that problem is in detail, along with how you’re going to solve it.
Many people make the mistake of leaving out information such as the operating plan or bios. Without these, you don’t really get insight into who they are and what their goals and vision are for the company.
Err on the side of too much information, but make sure it’s clear and concise. Above all, give the application reviewer a thorough understanding of who you are and where your business has potential to go.
Stand Out From the Crowd: Cater to Your State
To write a cannabis business plan that stands out from the competition, start by looking at the state and its priorities. Then, tailor your business plan to show exactly how you will meet the criteria the state is looking for.
For example, if your state places a lot of focus on environmental impact, show what you’re doing to operate in environmentally friendly ways. If it’s concerned about compliance — how everything is regulated and tracked. — illustrate how you will set up SOPs and training to ensure your facility is 100% compliant.
Or, if the state’s main focus is on social equity and inclusiveness, show them how you plan to hire and train and give back to the community. That said, if you are going to be a multistate operator, you’ll be taking on a bigger responsibility to be more inclusive of each state’s goals.
In that case, you’ll need a cannabis business plan that shows how all of your businesses will be operated similarly throughout the different states — so you have a cohesive brand — but that you’ll also hit the main focus and concerns of each state in which you plan to operate.
Get Expert Help for a Winning Cannabis Business Plan
Writing a cannabis business plan is a much larger undertaking than anyone foresees. If you’re a multistate operator or just getting started owning your first cannabusiness,, you will likely have blind spots, and missing something a particular state prioritizes will severely hurt your chances of getting a license.
Working with a consultant and an expert team to write and review your cannabis business plan will ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation and start setting your plan in motion.