Cannabis is gradually gaining traction as it is slowly becoming accepted in the legal and sociological framework.
Eleven American states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, while 33 states have allowed it for medical use. As a result, people’s interest in this plant is growing, leading to many cannabis-oriented businesses.
Starting a business in itself is complicated and extremely tedious, but it gets more complex with cannabis. The business niche requires regulation, permits, licenses, and immense competition from other businesses. Amidst all this, it is pretty easy for a business to make mistakes that can have severe consequences.
For everyone considering entering into the cannabis world, this article is an invaluable resource that will help you avoid series of pitfalls that might have negative consequences on your business.
Here are some significant mistakes to watch out for as you run or start to run your cannabis business:
1. Improper Employee Training
A wrongly trained employee is a disaster waiting to happen as it can significantly mar your business in horrible ways. As a result, you need to have an ironclad Standard Operating Procedure.
With a thorough Standard Operating Procedure, you get to stay on good terms with the government and improve your business operation’s efficiency, resulting in better profits.
Many businesses do not know that the regulatory agencies are interested in their training procedures. These agencies perform a regular audit of such practices, including their Standard Operating systems, which spell out the duties of the employees on the job.
For businesses with retail staff, delivery drivers, and growers, the Standard Operating Procedure ensures that they receive the proper training alongside a good understanding of their daily duties. This serves as a manual to keep you in check and run a profitable business.
Not having the proper Standard Operating Procedure might make your employee misbehave. Ultimately, this hurts your relationship with the government, and your profit margin suffers.
2. Failure To Stand Out From The Competition
After investing in a great website with an array of high-quality products, your Daily Marijuana products dispensary still needs to find ways to stand out. Cannabis is a profitable niche, which has attracted many entrepreneurs, and the competition keeps growing. With this, you need to find your unique selling point – what makes you stand out.
This might be the quality of your product and how customers will be better off patronizing you. It might even be a specific ingredient that works well with cannabis. Make sure you capitalize on everything you provide that customers will not get anywhere else. It could be:
- A relaxing atmosphere
- Special packaging
- Third-party certification
- Outstanding budtenders, etc
Whatever your unique selling point is, it will be primal to your marketing game.
3. Making Any Claim About Your Cannabis Product
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), alongside many states, has cannabis advertising regulations that forbid all false or exaggerated claims about cannabis and its product. However, many dispensaries have a blog that might proclaim marijuana as a cure-all treatment.
Declaring any product as beneficial to health without approval by the FDA is a huge business risk. As a result, mind your language on your blog posts, labels, social media accounts, and other promotional texts.
Advertising cannabis and its product as a substitute for any drug is a huge error. This does not stop you from educating your customers on what to expect after using such a product. However, there is a difference between describing your product’s calming and relaxing effect and marketing it as a sleep aid. Make sure you are updated on all FDA regulations as well.
4. Failure To Keep Up With Cannabis Regulation
While keeping to terms with cannabis rules and regulations can be complicated, keeping you out of trouble is essential. There are various regulations or permit you will need, based on what you do. For instance, a distributor will need a different permit from a retail business.
Besides, many states have special licensing regulations required for cultivation, retail stores, dispensaries, and manufacturing. Each business needs to be up to date with this regulation and ensure they have the correct paperwork. You need to be on the right side of the state and local licensing authority to avoid trouble.
5. Failure To Invest In Robust Technology
While having a robust and sophisticated technology might not be a requirement, such investment can help improve your compliance and ultimately save you from troubles. When activities such as monitoring transactions, checking inventory, etc., happen manually, the probability of error increases.
With this, you are better off working with a technology provider that offers a sophisticated system that can keep your business on the right side of the law. Before choosing any technology, ensure it helps with the following:
- Verification and validation of customer ID to prevent illegal sales
- Avoid excessive selling of products to prevent going above the limit permitted by regulation.
- Automates and keep track on all transaction to reduce human errors
- Keeps tab on operation, orders, and inventory essential for audit
- Helps in sales reporting, as required by the law
6. Violating Customer’s Privacy
Cannabis dispensaries, like other businesses that acquire sensitive data from customers and patients, are prone to a data breach. As a result, it is essential to have a secure security system to develop the right security measures to keep all sensitive data safe. There have been many data breaches over the years, and you never can tell who has you on its radar. As a result, cannabis entrepreneurs need to have impregnable security or risk severe criminal actions for violation.
This comes down to having adequately trained staff to manage data well and keep all systems up to date on common online frauds that can compromise data. Also, ensure your operating systems are constantly updated, use hard-to-crack passwords, encrypt sensitive data, etc. These measures can go a long way to keep you from security breaches.
Above all, ensure you partner with an insurance company, online security consultants, and legal counsels that are familiar with the regulation of data privacy. They can help develop a cybersecurity system; alongside a response approach, should there be a breach.
Everyone starts a business to make a profit. However, giving in to silly mistakes can truncate one’s effort to make a profit.
People interested in the cannabis business or people who already started should endeavor to keep these mistakes in mind. It can go a long way to keep them on the good side of the law as they run their business.