The American view of cannabis has come a long way in the past decade. A few years ago, it was prohibited throughout the United States, now it is legal for recreational use in four states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska). It is also a big business. The industry has created between 7,500 and 10,000 jobs in 2014 in Colorado. Some estimate the industry will be worth about $10.2 billion.
Cannabis use for medical purposes is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Approximately 67% of doctors support it and 92% of patients say it helps them. In New Mexico, 27% of people who use it suffer from PTSD. Approximately one in five return from Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from PTSD.
Starting A Medical Marijuana Business
- Develop a business plan, this will include a plan for medical marijuana business branding.
- Incorporate your business as a collective or non-profit. This is required for licensing a marijuana business.
- Find a space, sign a lease and find someone who is an expert in medical marijuana facility design.
- You’ll need a business license. Check with your state to get their rules and regulations. There are often fees associated with this (and most other) licenses.
- Pay your taxes. You do no want to skip this step.
- Put out your shingle and open your store! Remember, you will need good security.
Medical Marijuana Marketing
You’ll have to have a plan to market your business. Develop a medical marijuana business branding plan. You can hire a medical marijuana marketing company but there are some basics that apply to medical marijuana business branding just as they apply to other businesses.
Define Your Brand
- What are you trying to do? This is your mission.
- What is your current reputation? If your business is new, you may not yet have one but knowing what it is will help you redefine it or add to it.
- What sets your business apart from your competitors? Is your customer service better? You must do something differently from your competitors.
- What do you want your reputation to be?
Spread the Word About Your Brand
- Have a logo designed and put it everywhere you can.
- Draft talking points about you and your business and use them everywhere. Everyone who works for you should know them. Like your logo, your talking points and messaging points need to be used everywhere — when you answer the phone, on your web site, when customers come in your store. Consistency is the key to good branding and that includes medical marijuana business branding.
- Put up a web site and use your messaging. Make your site a community — have a message board where your clients can talk about you and what they are experiencing.
- Use social media to connect with current and prospective customers. Make sure all of your social media sites use your logo and messaging. Twitter and Facebook can be great places to interact and also promote specials or any news from your business.
- Send newsletters to your clients. As you grow and things change in your business, you will hopefully develop a loyal customer base who will want to know what’s going on with your business.
This is a very interesting time for medical marijuana. Given the number of people who can be helped by it, there should be opportunities for more people to open dispensaries. Remember that while the product you are selling may be unconventional, the traditional methods of marketing, although they change all the time, apply. Read more articles like this.