With medicinal and recreational marijuana being legalized in states across the country, the marijuana industry has grown exponentially. Laws on the growing, cultivating, harvesting, distributing, and selling of marijuana are different from state to state and heavily regulated. This means that getting into the marijuana side of the industry may be difficult and expensive. That, however, doesn’t mean you can’t allow yourself to be lead by your entrepreneurial spirit and start your business within this thriving industry.
Other businesses complement the sale and usage of marijuana with lower entry points for potential new businesses. For example, many packaging, supplies, and accessories accompany marijuana usage that can be sold outside of dispensaries. These businesses are generally called head shops or smoke shops.
Here are a few things you need to know before opening a head shop.
The Laws and Regulations
Even though your business won’t be selling marijuana, there are still laws and regulations dictating different types of companies, how they can advertise, and where they can be located. Ensuring you are working within state and local laws for your shop is critically important to your success and protecting the investment you are making. For that reason, it is too important to learn about from simple internet searches. Instead, you need to contact a business lawyer in your area who can give you the whole and absolute truth regarding any licenses or permits you need, where your business should be located, and any possible limitations to your business.
There are advantages and disadvantages to online and brick-and-mortar stores. While you might avoid some problems with a physical store, you’ll have to factor in shipping, which is a huge added expense for you and your customers. Additionally, the internet space is much more crowded and competitive, so you’ll have to find ways to differentiate your business from the others. Another option is to open an online headshop that can run out of your home or warehouse space and ship all over the country.
While it isn’t necessary to personally use marijuana to open and run a successful head shop, you need to be deeply familiar with cannabis culture. You need to understand your customer base and the products, suppliers, and accessories they will be looking for. This includes knowing the top brands, styles, and designs that are trending or have a cult following. Understanding the cannabis culture will also be an important part of your brand to create a following. Knowing the culture will also allow you to talk to your customers and answer questions with authority. You want your customers to trust you and want your thoughts and opinions when they aren’t sure about what they need or want to buy.
If you don’t carry the products people are looking for, they aren’t shopping with you. This means being constantly aware of changing trends and new opportunities. You will need to offer a wide assortment of bongs, vaporizers, incense, water pipes, bubblers, trays, concentrates, hand pipes, grinders, and hemp products. When you have a great selection at competitive prices, people will travel to you and stay loyal customers.
Opening any business can be intimidating. Still, with a thoroughly thought-out and researched business plan, you can get the funding you need and grow a thriving business in nearly any area. Getting advice from others professionals in the industry is also a valuable step in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get the information you need because the more knowledgeable and prepared you are, the better chance you will succeed. You may know everything about cannabis culture and products, but that doesn’t mean you know how to run a business. Take time to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and then move towards strengthening your weaknesses.