How to choose the right cannabis consultant
New cannabis laws in California mean many things, but licensing regulations remain a constant thread linking new businesses and communities. Without proper licensing, cannabis businesses will flounder. Hiring a cannabis business consultant helps small business owners navigate licensing regulations, paperwork, and hearings.
As with any new business, finding the right partners takes a little work. Consider these 4 tips for finding the right business consultant for your new venture.
1. Look for a hands-on consultant
Online relationships benefit small businesses in a variety of ways. When you’re growing a new business, you don’t always have time for face-to-face meetings. Email and other collaborative work platforms facilitate open communication between you and your consultants. However, you need a cannabis business consultant who’s available both online and offline.
CCA can be physically present for licensing hearings, inspections, and reviews. Having a professional consultant present helps make sure nothing gets missed and that all business is conducted in accordance with the licensing laws and regulations.
2. Always check references
With the quality of cannabis business consultants ranging from expert to completely inexperienced, check references. Credentials matter, but so do testimonials from actual clients.
Don’t be afraid to ask for — and check — references from a cannabis business consultant. You wouldn’t put an addition on your home without checking out a contractor’s work, and you shouldn’t hire a business consultant without asking other clients about their level of satisfaction.
3. Understand your cannabis business needs
When you’re vetting potential consultants, be open and honest about what you need. Are you looking for a one-time advice session or a full-service consultant? Many consulting firms happily do both, but it helps everyone if you make your needs clear from the beginning.
CCA offers a variety of business solutions, from bare bones to full-service options. With a new business, you might not even know exactly what you need. Be open about that, too. Professional consultants will take the time to listen to you and make recommendations based on your answers. The foundation of a successful relationship between consultants and business owners involves a mutual understanding of a client’s needs.
4. Seek out a connected business consultant
When you’re looking for a cannabis business consultant, in addition to checking references and client lists, be sure to ask about their membership in industry associations. Finding a plugged-in consultant means working with someone who actively seeks out innovations and changes in the industry. CCA holds memberships in the California Cannabis Industry Association, the National Cannabis Industry Association, the California Growers Association, the Cannabis Distribution Association and the California Minority Alliance - each of these memberships keep our fingers on the pulse of this ever-changing industry.
Efficient licensing and keeping up with regulatory reviews helps your business run smoothly, and having the right consultant in your corner can be crucial.
Do you know which cannabis licensing classification is right for your business? See a breakdown of the different classifications here.