When people think about getting into the cannabis business, they so often consider opening a dispensary. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Owning a dispensary is pretty cool.

But dispensary owners aren’t the only folks rocking it out in the industry. Even though they have a ton of visibility, there are plenty of people in the industry working behind the scenes.

And when you get right down to it, there would be no dispensaries without them. So we’ll take a look at the full spectrum (pun intended) of cannabis industry businesses.

Businesses That Deal With the Plant

There are essentially two sorts of cannabis businesses: those that handle the plant and those that don’t.

Businesses where there is direct contact with weed are referred to as plant-touching businesses. They require licensing and must be in compliance with the rules and regulations of their individual state.

They include the following:

  1. Dispensary/Delivery Service Owners

Both dispensaries and delivery services require business-to-customer licenses. Each sells products to the end-user – be that from a brick and mortar location or through delivery. Inventory is sourced wholesale from cultivators, processors, and/or manufacturers.

  1. Growers/Cultivators

A large-scale grow house is perfect for those who work better with plants than with people. Cultivators carefully and meticulously breed, grow, and harvest cannabis that is later supplied in the form of raw flower to either dispensaries or processors for THC/CBD extraction.

  1. Processors

The days of smoking a doobie are far from over. But there are multiple other delivery methods now too. The popularity of edibles, tinctures, vape cartridges, beverages, topicals, etc. can’t be argued. And the wide array of products for end-user consumption has enabled the processors who extract THC and CBD to thrive.

  1. Lab Researchers

Even the scientifically-minded can establish themselves in the world of cannabis. Cannabis research and testing labs are necessary to not only ensure that the product is safe, but to research chemical makeup of cannabis products in order to determine THC and CBD potency.

  1. Distributors

Distributors are a crucial part of the supply chain. Without them, the plant (in its various forms) would get nowhere. They move it from the cultivator to the lab for testing and eventually to the processor or the dispensary.

  1. Cannabis Lounge Owners

At the time of the publication of this post, there are precious few states that offer a license to businesses are entities that allow consumption of cannabis products on-premise. But they could be forthcoming.

Ancillary Businesses That Don’t Handle the Plant

Given the explosion of plant-touching businesses, there is a rapidly growing need for the ancillary, or non-plant touching, businesses that support them.

These businesses are vital for the survival of the industry. And as an added bonus, they don’t face nearly (if any of) the regulatory obstacles that plant-touching businesses do.

Ancillary businesses include those in:

  1. Tech

Plant-touching businesses can easily fall prey to the headaches of maintaining compliance. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines, and the great potential of human error doesn’t help the process. Tech such as seed-to-sale software that tracks every step of the inventory is a lifesaver.

And given the specialized needs of the industry, tech is constantly coming up with new ways to manage everything from point-of-sales and employee training to CRM and product delivery specifically for cannabis businesses.

  1. Packaging

Package designers for cannabis products are tasked with creating bags, wrappers and bottles that are aesthetically appealing and sustainably sourced. Yet, unlike other package designers, they have the additional challenge of ensuring the packaging is compliant with child-proof protections and disclosure labeling.

  1. Construction

Those who work in construction are no strangers to building codes and regulations. Especially those who have been building out commercial developments for a long time.

When cannabis business owners need to build a facility, there are specific state regulations that come into play. For example, incorporating controlled entry and exit and location of product and cash vaults, to name a few.

These days, general contractors who take the time to learn their state’s cannabis-specific building codes and regulations and know how to incorporate them are in high demand.

  1. Professional Services

Every business needs accountants and lawyers. Cannabis businesses are no different. And given the myriad rules and regulations, those that understand cannabis laws and tax strategies are even more in demand.

Other professionals include cannabis marketing experts who have the know-how to build a distinctive brand in a rapidly evolving industry.

  1. Accessory Shops/Businesses

This is the ideal route for those who want the high visibility of being a shop owner (even if it’s an Etsy shop), but don’t wish to navigate all licensing and regulations.

Cannabis consumers will always want or need the perfect accessory to complement their experience. Fortunately, there’s a huge market for marijuana-related paraphernalia and artisan goods.

Interested in Getting Into the Cannabis Business?

The industry is booming. So now is the time for getting into the cannabis business.

By honing in on your expertise and working with your available resources, you can carve out a niche that will grow with the industry.

Understanding your target market is also critical. So don’t hesitate to contact us to help you with your marketing strategy. We’ll help you figure out how you fit into the industry.