The path to becoming a licensed marijuana grow facility is a long one, replete with hurdle after hurdle of bureaucratic red tape. But believe it when we say there is no greater feeling in the world than completing the steps and receiving your official license to grow cannabis. Many growers around the country have taken steps to become legal, regulated cannabis operations and are reaping tremendous benefits from following their passion.
If you’re planning to follow their lead and develop a cannabis business all on your own, we commend you for your drive and initiative. We also know, though, that it can be tough to know what comes next in the planning and execution of your dreams.
So we’re here to offer a little insight into the considerations that must be taken into account, the steps that must be taken, and how you might best prepare yourself for your new venture.
Though it may feel like getting your license was half the battle, the real leg work has really just begun. Now that you’re an official licensee, it’s time to start the actual planning.
A good starting place is to ask yourself one question: On your path to define, design, and buildout, do you have a complete road map that will meet your financial goals? If not, it’s time to get one into place. Some primary considerations to take into account when laying out your road map to success include:
Giving adequate consideration to these concerns now will save you lots of trouble down the road. The most successful cannabis operations are the ones that are prepared beforehand to meet the challenges that present themselves along the way. So let’s examine a few critical criteria to bear in mind as you lay out your plan.
The question of financing your operation is one that significantly impacts your progress as you design and build out not only your facility but your brand as well. Securing financing for the first stage is great, but an initial investment will only carry your brand so far. What about the stages beyond that? A budding brand must be prepared to find investors who are willing to go all the way with them as the industry continues to grow and change.
This is an excellent time to consider your financing options and how they will impact your progress. For example, securing multiple sources for funding is never a bad idea, as it will provide added security should one source pull out or lose funding. In addition, preparing ahead and securing multiple investors will help to ensure that your business stays operating smoothly regardless of fluctuations in the economy or market.
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your investors will be with you as your operation grows. A startup investment may help you acquire a location. Still, if all goes according to plan, you’ll quickly outgrow your initial facility and need to scale up to multiple rooms or facilities. A strong scale-up plan will help you to know what funding will be necessary for the next phase as you expand. This is important to consider from the outset, as you’ll want to secure funding that will meet your needs as you require more space and capital.
An additional part of your scale-up plan must be to consider whether you’ll remain in the same area as your operation expands. You’ll likely be most comfortable working under the regulations of your original location, but with constantly evolving local, state and federal legislation, even these regulations are likely to change. The temptation to expand into new markets is never-ending, and as local regulations change over time, it may be in your brand’s best interest to open new facilities in new locations.
Understanding your own local regulations is taxing enough. Adding on additional or even multiple sets of regulations to understand and abide by can seem like overload. This is yet another critical point in your roadmap, as securing adequate financing will allow you to hire and train managers at other sites to handle regulations, leaving you free to handle the business end of things.
An equally important consideration when finding and developing your first facility is the facility’s condition. For many, this can mean adapting a building or buildings which previously had no horticultural applicability into fully functioning grow rooms, a process that can be elaborate and costly.
Probably one of the most expensive modifications many cannabis licensees must make to their facility is upgrading its power source. Powering a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility requires significantly more energy than powering an average office or industrial building, and augmenting an entire building’s power source to something more substantial can be extremely costly. Furthermore, these costs will only replicate with each new facility, so it’s a significant factor to consider when securing your financing and developing your plan.
Once the facility is up and running, and the buds are shimmering under your grow lights, it’s tempting to put your feet up and call it a day. But the real work is just beginning. After all, you can grow thousands of pounds, but if nobody knows about your brand, who will ever consume it?
Branding and marketing are as essential to your business as your facility itself. As the marijuana industry continues to boom, more and more products flood the market, making it increasingly difficult to stand out among the crowd. Setting your brand apart through careful brand building, curiosity-piquing advertising, and unforgettable packaging will help drive sales and establish you in your local area’s market.
Of course, slapping your name on a substandard product will not suffice. Instead, delivering consistent, quality products will be vital to building an effective brand and driving repeat business, and the ability to do so lies in maintaining a facility capable of delivering repeatedly solid performance. When it comes to setting up a facility for consistency and reliability, TSRgrow is the place to go.
TSRgrow has been working tirelessly since our inception 13 years ago, to create solutions to the most commonly encountered problems facing commercial indoor growers. As such, our TOTALgrow™ Solution is the ideal component to mapping out your winning plan. We can help you to create a plan that includes budgeting, operating expenses, and production goals, all designed on proven commercial cultivation practices.
TSRgrow brings thousands of square feet of cannabis canopy management experience, including expertise in greenhouse, indoor cultivation, and vertical farming, to your team. With expertise in nearly every aspect of facility design and management, we’re here to help you take your growth to the next level.
Additionally, our team at TSRgrow specializes in a host of other design and management related topics as well, including: