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DON’T SMOKE THE MESSENGER: Let’s Grow Up – Starting a legit marijuana business

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Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.41.49 AMSome say the “Marijuana Revolution” is the next boom of industry in America, similar to the Internet and Tech boom, or the gold rush; many labeling it the Green Rush. That attitude was clear at the recent International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco. In addition to learning about some of the similar struggles that California is going through as it prepares to roll out legal adult use sale of marijuana—such as individual counties and cities opting out—it was enlightening to gain a broader perspective on what is going on in the rest of the world of cannabis.

Growing up pretty much sums it up. Those that came into the weed biz during the black market, looking for a way to have a big income with out all the normal efforts of creating a business, are now looking at rooms of men in suits as the future of their businesses. And just because you grow a great strain does not guarantee these suits will want to talk. In fact, they probably don’t even care what your grass tastes like. They want to invest in business that they know have the potential to make them rich. While a level of idealism may cause many to opt out of these standard business practices, most will want to step up to the plate and see if they can strike it rich.

Here are some tips for those who feel ready to “grow up”:

  1. Take your time. A well thought out plan will make sure a business survives in the long run. As they say, only fools rush in.
  2. Follow the laws. Fill out the forms. Pay the taxes. Just like every other business out there, play by the rules.
  3. Have the professionals on your side. Hire bookkeepers, and lawyers. They know what they are doing.
  4. Get everything in writing. For a long time, not having a paper trail was a measure of security. And a hand-shake was all the agreement that was needed for partnerships and other agreements. That has changed.
  5. Be a good neighbor. Especially in places like Jackson Country, where are rules are regulations are complaint-driven, being a good neighbor will ensure that no one will complain, and that no agencies will have to stop by and investigate the problem.
  6. Look the part. Show up to meeting looking professional. Show up to planning commission  hearings looking professional. Its just easier to be taken seriously.
  7. Have a realistic idea of the value of your business. Entrepreneurs can sometimes have an inflated idea of what their service or product is actually worth. A firm grasp on reality can help form a clearer picture of what amount of capital is actually necessary to get things going.

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