If you’re looking for a cannabis business consultant to help you launch your marijuana dispensary and retail chain, where do you find an expert in cannabis consulting in the United States and Canada? Here are the top 9 things you need to know when choosing a cannabis consultant that’s right for your business.
So You Need a Cannabis Business Consultant?
Hiring an experienced cannabis business consultant or specifically, a cannabis marketing consultant is likely one of the top 3 best investments you can make when starting your marijuana-based business.
The cannabis industry in Canada and the USA is pretty easy to get into due to the increasing change in popular public opinion when it comes to cannabis consumption.
But the ease of entry doesn’t mean that managing the plethora of cannabis marketing regulations and marijuana advertising restrictions makes it super important to find yourself a seasoned cannabis business consultant with a background in marijuana marketing, as well as hemp and CBD marketing.
In this article, we’ll discuss the 9 things you need to know about hiring the right cannabis business/marketing consultant for your dispensary.
How Do You Find a Professional Cannabis Business Consultant That Suits Your Business?
In the USA alone, many states have many different laws regarding medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. In Canada, it’s similar to the different provinces.
When it comes to cannabis advertising, you’re told that Facebook, Instagram, and Google do not accept cannabis dispensary advertising (or CBD advertising), yet we all see ads for marijuana flower and CBD products all over these platforms.
All of these factors make it super challenging to manufacture and sell cannabis in your state or province, which is why you should seriously consider talking with an experienced marijuana marketing consultant before you launch your business.
Here are 9 things to consider when hiring your cannabis business consultant.
1. What Type Of Cannabis Business Consultant Do You Need
I’m not sure there is one cannabis consultant that will be able to help you with everything you’ll need help with when starting a cannabis business online and/or with a retail dispensary.
Therefore, it’s important for you to identify what type of marijuana consultant you need for each stage of your business.
The following are only just 5 examples of the many different types of cannabis consulting available to you.
(i) Cannabis Legal Consultant
First things first, it’s probably best to consult a lawyer who specializes in the cannabis and CBD/hemp industries in your country and state/province.
There are far too many rules, regulations, red tape, and overall “BS” that you’ll want to educate yourself on that will benefit your business and help you grow.
Research, use Google search, talk to people who have/had experience with the cannabis and hemp industries, but absolutely ensure you speak with a professional who understands the law and has experiences in the legalities of marijuana operations, sales, and marketing.
(ii) Cannabis Business Consultant
The business of Cannabis has been around forever in the legacy market pre-legalization. The legacy market continues to thrive so far into post-legalization.
However, because of legalization, the marijuana business has changed. There’s now a legal, taxable, fast-growing marketplace for every cannabis brand.
To be successful within this “new” industry, you certainly want to align yourself with a cannabis business consultant who understands every part of the business of cannabis. Including the legacy market.
Knowledge of the legacy market as well as expertise in the legal business of cannabis makes for the idea cannabis business consultant.
An expert cannabis business consultant is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but will be committed to supporting your cannabis business licensing, business development, optimizing the design of your production facilities, and standardize operations.
(iii) Cannabis Marketing Consultant
Let’s face it, cannabis marketing and advertising is a challenge based on so many “grey” areas with rules, regulations, platform restrictions, platforms talking out of both sides of their respective mouths, etc.
Regardless if you are a legacy marijuana business or a new licensed cannabis retail dispensary, hiring the right cannabis marketing consultant and/or an experienced marijuana marketing and SEO agency is vital for the growth of your business.
Experience speaks volumes when choosing a business consultant specifically for marketing and advertising for your dispensary, mail order, or delivery business. There are just too many regulations and grey areas.
Look for someone who has hands-on digital marketing experience in the cannabis and CBD industries, in your country.
If you’re able to hire an agency that has experience with cannabis and CBD marketing in North America, the UK, and the EU, (like us!!), this can be super helpful for your expansion plans.
(iv) Cannabis SEO Consultant
Search engine optimization, marijuana SEO, cannabis SEO, dispensary SEO, and CBD SEO are all specific and unique types of digital marketing tactics. Not all traditional or digital marketers truly understand everything that is required in an SEO strategy.
This is why you really may want to consider a cannabis marketing consultant as well as a marijuana SEO consultant/specialist.
Did you know that Google updates its search algorithm 500-600 times per year?.
This is just one of many reasons why it’s super important to hire a highly experienced cannabis and CBD SEO consultant during the website development process of your business.
(v) Cannabis Retail Consultant
If your plan is to own and operate a retail cannabis dispensary you’ll certainly want to look for an experienced cannabis retail consultant. Someone who understands the cannabis consumer and who also has years of retail management experience.
This person should also understand the franchise business model and have significant experience in managing regional, provincial/state, and national retail chains, outside of the cannabis industry.
2. Ask To See a List of Current & Past Clients
Once you’ve figured out the types of cannabis consultants that you’ll need to help you scale your business, you’ll want to know who’ve they’ve worked with in the past in terms of cannabis-specific companies, as well as other industries.
If they aren’t showcasing their current and past clients on their website, you should feel free to ask your prospective cannabis business consultants to provide a list of their current and past clients.
You’ll want to make sure that they’ll understand your business, goals, and operational challenges, and reviewing their recent clients will help you gauge if there’s a suitable fit between you and your marijuana marketing business consultant.
3. Are You Comfortable With Virtual Meetings?
Since our world has changed and virtual meetings using Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or other online meeting tools are the norm, you’ll likely be meeting with your marijuana consultant virtually.
It would be a good idea to get yourself comfortable with the various online tools for virtual meetings so you’re comfortable using them to run a cannabis consulting meeting effectively.
Virtual meeting eatures like voice-only calls are appropriate but at times screen shares or video calls will prove to be super useful in exchanging information and ideas in your marijuana consulting sessions.
4. Should You Part With Equity Because It’s An Easy Option?
How should you compensate your cannabis marketing, SEO, retail, or business consultant?
There is a trend for marijuana marketing consultants to negotiate deals offering them partial ownership or equity within the cannabis company.
This seems like a simple, win-win structure and sometimes it is. However, there are a few warning signs that you should be aware of in these cases.
For example, if your cannabis consultant is also in similar agreement with other cannabis companies similar to yours, there may be some conflicts of interest at some point in the marijuana consulting relationship.
It’s just natural for any business owner to be curious if your cannabis consultant is possibly harming your business in order to benefit a competitor, for their own financial gain.
Furthermore, with the “greyness” of legalities in the cannabis and CBD industries, you have to be conscious of the fact that some ownership stakes may violate local ownership laws.
A final option would be to choose a traditional form of standard payment for business consulting services.
This way you can be certain that your marijuana consultant does not mess around with areas of your business that they may not understand and have any experience.
We Can Help You With Professional & Experienced Cannabis Consulting
At ColaDigital.ca, we’re committed to seeing you succeed with your exciting new cannabis business.
Helping new cannabis, hemp, and CBD businesses launch and established businesses grow, we strive to be your investing, advocacy, and mentoring partner in the cannabis industry.
We’re digital marketing professionals with over 16 years of experience and help cannabis entrepreneurs specifically with cannabis marketing consulting and cannabis SEO consulting.
We offer 30-60 minute voice calls or video calls using Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or any service you’re comfortable with.
Please contact us to discuss consulting and/or digital marketing strategy for your business.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!