Are you looking for ways you or your company can profit from the booming green rush? Despite the pandemic, cannabis sector growth shows no signs of slowing.
Let’s take a look at some novel cannabusiness opportunities you can take advantage of right now. (note: this is work in progress, updated often with new ideas, links and information).
Cannabis-Infused Cooking & Catering
Chefs might find plenty of opportunities for cannabis catering gigs, such as weddings, company events and private dinner parties. Cooking with cannabis is partially art and science.
If you want to create your own CBD edibles, you can purchase bulk CBD, CBG and other cannabanoids and get creative.
For inspiration, see Colin Bambury’s story of going from the grey market of edibles to working for the top Cannabis brands as a consultant and creative.
Some cannabis cooks are combining their love of weed & food in novel ways such as cookbooks, recipe websites and even Bed & Breakfasts…
Cannabis-Friendly Bed and Breakfast
Also known as “Bud and Breakfasts” are a growing trend in niche vacation rentals. Herb connoisseurs are always looking for lodging options that support their favorite pastime.
If you’ve thought about starting an Bed and Breakfast, and also like to toke up, this could be an ideal opportunity. Services like Airbnb and Vrbo make it easy to get started. Budhub also maintains a directory of these weed-friendly rentals in Canada.
Websites, Blogging, Videos and Podcasting and beyond. If you already have experience in the cannabis industry, you could share your knowledge to earn an income though advertising or other forms of monetization.
For example, What’sMyPot is handy website published by Canadian wife/husband team blogging their thoughts on cannabis, science and health. Hermano Reviews Cannabis, and Marijuana Moment are other great examples of successful websites started from modest beginnings.
Examples of successful cannabis-only social networks include Leafwire geared towards businesses, and GrowDiaries for hobby growers. Though, there are also plenty of small, closer-knit communities like Percy’s Grow Room and the Canadian Weed Forum that have solid communities and steady growth.
If you have special knowledge or expertise you can share, and like learning new things – cannabis website publishing might be a good fit.
Consulting is a good way to get rewarded for being old. <– fun fact. Though, with Cannabis; younger generations might have an advantage. In Canada, budtenders like CannabizzzJane have pivoted their government-required training to help cannabis brands better market their products.
Cannabis consultants might also be contracted for their expertise on regulations, growing, distribution, security etc.
Retailers can find plenty of opportunities, from side-hustles and CBD boutiques to online dispensaries and brick-and-mortar shops.
If you are in Canada, check out my in-depth guide to starting a cannabis business for Canadian entrepreneurs.
If you are already in retail, see this list of wholesale CBD suppliers.
CBD White/Private Label Distributor
White label and private label opportunities allow businesses to market cannabis products without the research and development capital required to launch a new product line.
Here’s a list of CBD wholesalers & private labels and general cannabis wholesalers (for seeds, grow supplies, etc). In theory, with the right white label service, you have your own line of cannabis products without needed to create or even store them.
Professional Budtending Service
Budtending services are beginning to replace bartenders & open bars for cannabis-related corporate events and private functions.
Budtenders need expertise to guide both newbies and chronics in understanding the unique properties of flowers, concentrates and edibles. You can get started by networking and reaching out to cannabis-event organizers to gain clients.
Cannabis Security Services
All dispensaries and grow operations require trained security personnel & security systems.
Marijuana dispensaries have unique requirements for both practical and legal reasons across jurisdictions, making security a specialism worth considering.
Cannabis Bookkeeping & Accounting
Like any business, cannabis companies need qualified bookkeepers & accountants to set budgets, handle payroll and calculate taxes. (someone has to pay the man, man)
As more states and countries legalize, expect ancillary services like this to be viable.
For help getting started, check out DopeCFO – training for those looking to provide accounting services in the cannabis industry.
Cannabis Events & 420 Event Planning
Cannabis companies require event planning services for employee functions, trade shows and industry events.
Additionally, weed-themed weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and well-planned yearly 420 events can be a lucrative venture.
Cannabis Legal Services
Cannabis businesses require legal advice to remain in compliance with constantly changing federal, regional and local regulations. Attorneys and other legal professionals can carve a niche by targeting the growing demand for cannabis-specific legal help.
CBD E-commerce Dropshipping
Dropshipping allows companies to sell CBD products without investing capital in inventory and warehouse space.
To get started, you’ll need a website & some online marketing knowledge. Services like Shopify can help manage the technical side of dropshipping.
Cannabis Content Writing & Marketing
The phrase “content is king” may be even more applicable to the cannabis industry.
With tight restrictions on advertising, cannabis companies need SEO-driven content marketing strategies and knowledgeable writers to create enticing product descriptions, blogs, and social media posts.
Some writers and content agencies like Beaches and Weed, have found their niche in cannabis content.
Tour operators who partner with local businesses for cannabis-themed tours create a win-win situation for all parties.
Consider pairing up with “Bud and Breakfasts” and other services to cross-sell services.
For inspiration, see “My 420 Tours“, based in Denver, Colorado. (though they are currently on pause do to Covid-19).
Cannabis Business Insurance Agency
Specialized insurance coverage is crucial for dispensaries, grow operations and their landlords. If you already are involved in underwriting, this could be a nice specialization.
Manufacturers require specialized packaging to ensure maximum freshness, safety and discretion — and follow government guidelines.
Package manufacturers experienced dealing with redtape & regulations could pivot to cannabis packaging.
Cannabis Website Design & Development
With new online cannabis businesses popping up daily, dispensaries are building or updating their websites to stand out from the crowd. You can create value for your customers by offering expertise in regulations, software, etc.
If you have experience in web design, development or online marketing — cannabis could be a good niche to specialize in.
Cannabis Software Development
Tech-savvy entrepreneurs can find a unique niche developing custom apps and software for cannabis businesses. For example; Cannabis-specific POS systems are in growing demand as more states and countries fully legalize.
Developers might want to consider specializing in software targeting cannabis merchants.
Graphic Design Agency
Cannabis companies require a host of graphic design services, from logos to packaging labels to infographics for blogs. If you have previous experience as a graphic designer, now might be a good time to pivot to specializing in cannabis-clients.
How to start: create an online portfolio showcasing your best work and use social media to reach out to gain a following.
Cannabis Real Estate Agency
Finding suitable properties to buy or rent for cannabis businesses can be a challenge.
Specialized real estate agencies help cannabis businesses navigate zoning laws and find 420-friendly landlords.
Online Store for Marijuana-Related Products
One way to join the cannabis rush is with an online shop. Some niche ecommerce market opportunities include: Seed sales, vaporizers, growing equipment, books, digital products and the list goes on, and on.
If you have some website experience, Woocommerce is a good option for WordPress users. Less experienced webmasters should check out e-commerce services like Shopify that are cannabis and CBD-friendly.
You can also run an affiliate shop where you don’t need to own physical stock to earn commissions.
Social Media Marketing Specialist
Cannabis brands use social media to attract fans and often outsource that hard work to a social media specialist. (sometimes also referred to as “influencers”).
Cannabis-specific social media can start small by advertising for free market places such as fivrr.com and move up selling on larger networks such as Adistry.com
Other Opportunities and Investments
The last few years have not been meteoric as prophesied by some in past years. Though there are some steady companies, legal producers in the United States and Canada have been going through growing pains — reflected in cannabis stock prices.
Day traders and speculators are having fun, and I’m sure there will be a few winners in the long run. (list of cannabis penny stocks here) But, I’d also bet on a few companies filling for bankruptcy before the end of 2021.
More Ideas? Your Ideas?
While some people like to guard their ideas, I know that I will have more ideas than I have the time it takes to follow through on even 1/100th of them. So I prefer to give (most) ideas away.
How about you? Have some cannabis ancillary business ideas that aren’t right for you but might work for someone else? Please feel free to leave them here.
Are there any pot stocks & ETFs you think are great or terrible bets? Would love to hear your comments.