Most frequently, business licences are linked to a particular piece of real estate. You must begin as soon as possible because finding compliant real estate can take a long period. At this stage of the process, you might not fully understand your real estate requirements. But it’s crucial to understand what your company will need, and which properly zoned properties are accessible in your area.
Our team of regulatory experts have noticed recently that New Jersey applicants in particular have been experiencing hurdles with securing their cannabis property. If you’d like to learn more about starting a New Jersey cannabis business, click here: In this blog, we explore business licenses real estate needs, challenges, why community engagement is important, facility design & cannabis business & operation plans.
What is the cannabis business licenses real estate needs?
You must specifically investigate your municipality’s zoning regulations for cannabis companies and locate sensitive use zones. (Churches, schools, daycares, parks, residential areas, etc).
Depending on local laws and the availability of real estate, this procedure may be straightforward or incredibly difficult, requiring a significant amount of time and resources. You can create a more realistic deadline for submitting your application once you are aware of any possible zoning obstacles. Start by doing the following research:
- How accepting of cannabis is the community or town?
- Which zones permit your sort of operation type?
- What do your state’s or a municipality’s “sensitive-use areas” (churches, schools, daycare centres) mean by that? What is the required distance for each?
- Which characteristics comply?
- Are there any supplemental taxes in the town for cannabis businesses or operators?
What are the challenges to securing compliant cannabis real estate?
Finding cannabis real estate that is compliant while balancing your operation’s particular requirements with local zoning regulations is one of the most difficult tasks. Your company will undoubtedly have needs that don’t match up with the properties that are open.
Additionally, you will need to compete with other applicants, which raises costs and reduces your choices at the same time. Remember that real estate must be held privately or purchased. Cannabis businesses are not allowed on any of the institutions’ real properties, including banks. For example, dispensaries and retail businesses need a storefront that is simple to find, has a welcoming ambiance, has enough parking, and sees consistent foot traffic.
What factors do you need to consider when considering cannabis real estate?
- Which compliant assets are most suitable for your company’s needs?
- Who is the property’s owner?
- Do they want to buy from or rent to a weed business?
- Do they own the house outright or do they have a mortgage on it?
- Is it a fresh construction or a retrofit?
- Is there enough room for both present operations and potential growth?
- What setback requirements apply when constructing a new facility or enlarging an old one?
- Are the people around your facility cannabis-friendly or will they be opposed to your business?
- How close are you to other marijuana businesses?
Why is community engagement important when applying for a local cannabis license?
Applying for a local cannabis licence is the first step in developing a cooperative connection between your company and the neighbourhood. It’s crucial to make sure that the populace supports cannabis use and generates enough demand for your company to be profitable. The time you commit to getting to know the soul of your neighbourhood will determine the true success of your company.
You can fully tap into your market by identifying local stakeholder interests and comprehending them, both briefly and through the lens of your company. To start a sincere, trustworthy relationship that gradually grows, you will need to practise both strategy and empathy, identifying and then attending to the needs or desires of your community.
As you get to know your neighborhood, think about how you can develop worthwhile employment chances that benefit the local populace. In areas where cannabis prohibition has had a direct impact and in areas with high unemployment rates, your company can have an even greater impact.
Checklist for Community Engagement:
- Attend town hall gatherings to get to know local officials and important stakeholders.
- Meet the owners of nearby companies when you visit them.
- Join a neighbourhood group that shares the same values as your company and about which you are enthusiastic.
- Donate, volunteer, or plan an event.
- Surveying the general population.
How to design your cannabis compliant facility?
The potential of your company is significantly impacted by your cannabis facility. Depending on the nature of your company’s operations, your facility’s precise designs will vary. Do not undervalue the significance of your plan design, whether you are managing a cultivation facility that caters to businesses or a dispensary with a customer-facing environment.
Working with experienced architects, consultants, contractors, and engineers will help you develop a well-rounded facility with a design that supports an ideal process-based workflow and incorporates cutting-edge site security. Your plans should also make effective use of the available space for the parts of the company that generate revenue.
Consideration of other sectors can be useful when planning the design of your facility; after all, commercial cut flower production and cannabis cultivation share many similarities to other retailers. Contact us for assistance with drafting your site’s layout and floor plans with several of the same parameters as other established industries, while also accounting for the specific requirements of cannabis facilities.
How to create a detailed cannabis business plan?
Utilize this knowledge as you write your business plan to create a specific description of your company for each part of your application. Referencing specific laws within your application is crucial because regulators want businesses that can run legally and securely while also collecting taxes.
Keep your audience in mind as you write your business plan because the language you use, and the emphasis of your articulation will change based on who you are writing to. Your community, regulators, and investors are significant players in the cannabis company development process that you will probably need to address. Use the appropriate terminology and address each stakeholder’s main worries to make your project appealing to them. A strong business plan maintains your goals, goods, and services in mind.
What are the critical components of a cannabis business plan?
- Company Description
- Products & Services
- Market Analysis
- Management & Organization
- Financial Models
- Strategy and how it’ll be implemented.
How to develop an operations plan for your cannabis business?
As part of the application process, some markets demand detailed running plans while others do not. In any case, you should take the time to set up specific procedures in preparation. Every company makes course corrections along the way, but depending too heavily in the cannabis industry on the ‘figure it out as you go’ strategy will be expensive and greatly increase the risk of failure.
Your operating plan’s topics will change based on the kind of cannabis business you want to start. Everything that will be involved in running the business daily for you and your workers must be covered in the details. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are well-developed boost productivity and offer concise instructions on specific tasks or situations.
What is included in a cannabis business operations plan for each type of business?
Cultivation Cannabis Business:
- Propagation procedures
- Vegetative pruning and training
- Fertigation and watering
- Environmental control for each phase of plant growth
- Integrative Pest Management plans (IPMs)
Extraction/Manufacturing Cannabis Business:
- Raw material receiving
- Worker safety procedures
- Equipment and facility cleaning and maintenance
- Extraction protocols
- Sampling and ingredients
- Product packaging
- Waste disposal
Lab Testing Cannabis Business:
- Product receiving and storage
- Equipment calibration
- Sample preparation methods
- Client and regulatory reporting
- Data storage
Distribution Cannabis Business:
- Software systems
- Receiving and delivery protocols
- Record keeping
- Metrics and practices used to optimize inventory
- Secure transport procedures
- Product storage
Retail Cannabis Business:
- Receiving inventory
- Security plans
- Video surveillance
- Alarms and monitoring systems
- Access areas
- Product selection process
- Counting & reconciliation procedures
- Secure storage
- Return policies
- Methods for preventing entry and sales to underage individuals
What are the regulatory priorities that your cannabis license application needs at address?
- How will you manufacture or market reliable, secure, high-quality products?
- How will you monitor materials from seed to selling to make sure that cannabis isn’t being illegally diverted?
- How will you ensure that the only customers are individuals over the age of 21 or qualified medical patients?
- Does your team have the know-how and strategies to carry out your business plan effectively, thereby ensuring steady tax revenue?
- How will you keep your business secure to lower the risk of theft or unlawful diversion?
- How will your company benefit the neighbourhood? Who creates jobs at home? Efforts to serve the community?