As the cannabis market evolves, it's difficult to keep up with changing demands.
Because the cannabis industry is so heavily regulated, one false move in areas like operations, compliance, accounting, inventory, or marketing could have costly and damaging effects on your marijuana business.
It’s important to hire a cannabis consultant when you need expert help.
Cannabis consulting firms can help you address those areas and develop the processes and skills needed to maintain them whether you're a new business owner, you're feeling growing pains, or you're looking to expand.
How do cannabis consultants help dispensary owners?
Cannabis industry consultants help you run your business more efficiently and successfully. Some specialize in a specific area, like winning licenses, while others provide a full service program. They often bring a team of experts with years of experience to help you succeed without having to learn everything by yourself.
If you’re looking to hire a consultant, first consider your business needs and end goal. What issues are you having? Or what do you hope to achieve?
Then do your research to narrow down the most appropriate consultancy for your legal cannabis business.
What do cannabis consultants do?
- Win cannabis business licenses: Many states require you to submit business plans, standard operating procedures (SOPs), established funding, and a purchased physical location with the application for a business license. Consultants have experience developing these and can help prepare a successful cannabis license application.
- Maintain compliance: In a heavily regulated industry that’s constantly changing, it’s important to have an expert on your side to help you stay compliant. Cannabis consulting services keep up with state and federal regulatory laws and changes so you don’t have to. Many are former regulators themselves and can offer advice you won’t find elsewhere. With compliance consultants, you’re paying for peace of mind.
- Design and maintain facilities: Dispensaries are required to follow certain laws when designing and organizing their space. From where dispensaries can be located, to how waiting rooms function, to how customers and patients enter rooms with for-sale products, cannabis consultants can help you understand the laws and adhere to them. Consultants can also help you design a dispensary that meets your organizational and aesthetic needs, and many offer real estate support.
- Train staff members: Your dispensary staff needs to be versed in compliance and in the products they’re selling. Some cannabis consultants offer employee training on topics ranging from compliance to plant science. Knowledgeable employees can sell better, encourage trust in your customers, and create repeat business. Cannabis consultants can also help you create optimal schedules so you aren’t over- or under-staffing and impacting your store profitability.
- Handle accounting: Cannabis business finances can be tricky, especially federally illegality, the varying state tax laws, and 280e. Dispensaries are at a high risk of being audited, can have trouble opening a business bank account, and often have to run a cash-based operation. Cannabis accounting consultants understand the tax laws and can help you get your finances in order. They can also develop sales-tracking and inventory processes, create efficiencies in your supply chain, and other services.
- Establish your brand: Marketing and branding are essential to establishing your dispensary and building a loyal customer following. Unfortunately, the cannabis industry doesn’t have access to most traditional marketing outlets, and laws vary by state. Cannabis consultants know how to navigate these laws and build compliant, effective marketing campaigns with the limited resources available to cannabis.
- Build out your tech stack: Setting your business up with the right suite of cannabis technology prepares you for mandatory state reporting, inventory management, security, and general IT issues like trouble-shooting printers or installing WiFi. Cannabis technology consultants can walk you through these areas and help you determine which software platforms are best for your business. Plus, they can often remotely manage the systems for you.
Top cannabis consultants for your dispensary
Flowhub partners with best-in-class cannabis consulting and technology agencies that can help you develop, grow, and maintain your cannabis business.
Allay Consulting is a compliance strategy and services provider that serves the hemp and cannabis industries nationwide. They help guide businesses through the hazards of the cannabis industry by navigating compliance pitfalls, ensuring best practices, and making sure your product sells.
Amendment 2 Consultants (A2C) helps those in the Missouri market with everything from the initial application through full-scale operations. They have lead numerous campaign efforts to legalize cannabis and can help cannabis businesses with government affairs, compliance, SOPs, and branding.
Canna Advisors helps cannabis entrepreneurs win business licenses, optimize facility design, standardize operations, and maximize business development. They help cannabis businesses across the country with investing, advocacy, and mentoring.
Canna Consulting Group helps cannabis businesses across the country mitigate risk through a range of consulting services, from facility build-out, licensing, and zoning to managing daily retail operations, production, and processing.
Existo offers start-to-finish consulting services for cannabis start-ups. They can help your business with compliance, cultivation, security, Metrc, and technology. They serve the Michigan, Massachusetts, and Ohio markets.
IT Support Guys ensure your cannabis business performs at peak efficiency through the implementation of cloud solutions, the newest software, dispensary POS, customer loyalty programs, and more. Their remote experts handle all regular computer maintenance, security protocols, online sales processes, inventory tracking, and supply chain management, as well as state reporting and customer purchase limits.
Higher Accounting offers bookkeeping and accounting services to the Oklahoma market. They provide MMJ growers, cultivators, dispensaries, and processors legal state and federal financial services, including audit-ready financials, inventory management, OMMA compliance, tax services, and payroll processing.
MJstack is a nationwide consulting service that specializes in streamlining the technology vendor evaluation process. Their free service considers your dispensary’s specific go-to-market strategy and state regulatory factors to find the right services and technology for your dispensary needs.
Rocky Mountain Cannabis Consulting (RMCC) is a women owned-and-led cannabis compliance education company that provides strategic operational consulting to all operation types in 17 states. They offer out-source compliance support to licensed cannabis businesses, Metrc consultants, and Metrc-integrated third-party solutions.
Vangst is known for their online job board, both for job seekers and posters. But they also offer recruitment services from short-term temp help to helping you scale for the long run. Their new executive services find the perfect match for cannabis executive leadership.
Are cannabis consultants right for you?
Although the cannabis market is still young, many processes have already been tested and solidified. There’s no need to establish or expand your cannabis business in the dark.
Using a consultant can make your life easier and your business stronger. But before you hire an industry consultant, make sure you’re up-to-date on your dispensary terminology so you know how to ask the right questions.
Are you a cannabis consultant interested in being featured on this list of recommendations? Contact the Flowhub marketing team for consideration.