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HOT TOPIC Marijuana entrepreneurship; industry discussion

Ryan Howard

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Mar 10, 2015
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How's it going everyone. I'm new to the forum so I don't know if this is the best section for this question or not. But I was just wondering if anyone on here is a part of the Marijuana industry? No matter if you are just working in the industry, already have you own business, or waiting on the sidelines until it becomes completely legal. I believe the Marijuana industry will be one of the biggest and now is the perfect time to get started. I have ambitions to get onto the industry and was wondering of there were any like minded individuals feeling the same way.
 

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Grinning-Jack

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My Californian friend has grown cannabis in his "Paradise garden". He says it's a hard business. I have no idea what he means under "hard business" anyway.
 
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Ryan Howard

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I would assume that he means how saturated the market is there in California. I believe if he is just growing to sell to dispensaries then there is a good amount of people all doing the same thing. Which would mean that with let's say hundreds of people going to the dispensaries with product it's go ingredients to drive the price down. I feel like my future would be in the edible marijuana aspect. Whenever the laws allow it I would like to open a lounge that would allow customers to come and consume Marijuana and socialize, also while being able to order creative dishes all infused with marijuana. Would also like to have some entertainment on the weekends. "Bring your own bud" and see some live music
 

argst13

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Nov 14, 2013
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I can tell you from much research, in order to get into this business you need to have a TON of capitol in the form of CASH and you also need to have very tight political contacts. This will be a multi billion dollar industry by 2020, so trust me, they are not going to just let anybody into it. In PA, if it were to ever be legalized, the state has pretty much decided that they will be the only vendor, sort of how they own and run the liquor sales now.
 

AndrewNC

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you need to have a TON of capitol in the form of CASH
Banks that are federally regulated won't currently touch the industry so a lot of the dispensaries have to take in cash now.... no credit cards, and i forget about debit cards...Since many people don't carry cash anymore - I can see some form of opportunity there.
 

argst13

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Nov 14, 2013
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.Since many people don't carry cash anymore - I can see some form of opportunity there.
LOL, Yes a real opportunity for theft. In all seriousness, this is a major issue for dispensaries. They have to buy, sell, pay taxes, and payroll all with cash. It is totally a$$ backwards. Also, the feds want their tax money but will not honor any tax exemptions or write-offs because they still view them as "drug-dealers."

This is a market with huge upside, however, until the federal government eliminates prohibition, it would be wise to stay away from. IMHO.
 

bigred

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My brother-in-law is an electrical contractor here in Colorado and his current project is a 60 X 100 building for growing. I was talking to him the other day and he makes the operators pay cash every week. He said it was crazy the first time he got paid, he got an old paper sack full of cash. Like they say, sell shovels during a gold rush. I think there is a ton of opportunity in servicing this industry. If you were a contractor that specialized in the entire process from start to finish, whether it be growing, lighting, ventilation, or any other facet, you could make a ton of money.
 

Kingsta

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I'm waiting for them to legalise it in the United Kingdom and I'll make a KILLING until then I must continue with other ventures :D
 

KCorbinWA

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Feb 19, 2015
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I am currently in the Medical Marijuana Industry with my brother, who has been doing it for years here in WA. It is by all means a "feast or famine" industry. It takes a lot of different expertise from different people to keep the whole system working smoothly. You could get into growing, extracting or manufacturing extraction equipment, own a store front, own the garden supply store for the growers, so on and so fourth. All of which can lead to some VERY heavy pockets. I personally know someone that owns a dispensary and "dab bar" that brings an average of 20k in revenue DAILY. I also personally know someone in the garden supply store doing extremely well, and has opened multiple locations and about to venture into a side consulting business.

I recently went to the High Times Cup hosted in my area, it was jaw dropping how big people were making it. I even stood in the crowd while one local extract business was literally throwing out CASH and free product to the people, because they could.
 
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Ryan Howard

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Mar 10, 2015
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I am currently in the Medical Marijuana Industry with my brother, who has been doing it for years here in WA. It is by all means a "feast or famine" industry. It takes a lot of different expertise from different people to keep the whole system working smoothly. You could get into growing, extracting or manufacturing extraction equipment, own a store front, own the garden supply store for the growers, so on and so fourth. All of which can lead to some VERY heavy pockets. I personally know someone that owns a dispensary and "dab bar" that brings an average of 20k in revenue DAILY. I also personally know someone in the garden supply store doing extremely well, and has opened multiple locations and about to venture into a side consulting business.

I recently went to the High Times Cup hosted in my area, it was jaw dropping how big people were making it. I even stood in the crowd while one local extract business was literally throwing out CASH and free product to the people, because they could.
Do.you have any idea off the top of your head what it takes to obtain licensing in WA? Costs and regulations for growing, manufacturing or owning a dispensary. I know in Colorado it takes 2 years for new residents to apply and so on.
 

KCorbinWA

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Feb 19, 2015
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There are two ways to get in the door, medical and recreational. Medical Marijuana laws allow any person with a recommendation for Marijuana by a doctor, to grow, by or smoke. Getting a recommendation from a doctor is as easy as going to the many clinics that specialize in it, and complaining of back pain or insomnia.

The recommendation allows you to grow a small number of plants for yourself, BUT you can legally grow for other patients as long as you have a copy of their recommendation. Each persons recommendation allows you to grow more plants.

The funny part is that there is no limit to how many growers a patient can give their recommendation to, and no limit to how many patients a grower can supply for.

There is a lot of gray area in the medical laws.

The other way to get into the industry, soon to be much more profitable, is the recreational side. Unfortunately licenses to grow recreationally were handed out sparingly, and there is a limit to how many licenses are out at one time.

Those licenses though, let you get away with business at the largest scale. Even though they handed out the licenses, there are still ways of getting into the recreational business. For example, a lot of these i502 (recreational) growers need a lot of help getting business started.

Simply finding one of these companies to invest in would be very smart. Legalization of recreational pot nation wide, WILL happen. These recreational pot companies starting in WA will have a good shot at going nationwide when it does happen.
 

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Ryan Howard

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Mar 10, 2015
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There are two ways to get in the door, medical and recreational. Medical Marijuana laws allow any person with a recommendation for Marijuana by a doctor, to grow, by or smoke. Getting a recommendation from a doctor is as easy as going to the many clinics that specialize in it, and complaining of back pain or insomnia.

The recommendation allows you to grow a small number of plants for yourself, BUT you can legally grow for other patients as long as you have a copy of their recommendation. Each persons recommendation allows you to grow more plants.

The funny part is that there is no limit to how many growers a patient can give their recommendation to, and no limit to how many patients a grower can supply for.

There is a lot of gray area in the medical laws.

The other way to get into the industry, soon to be much more profitable, is the recreational side. Unfortunately licenses to grow recreationally were handed out sparingly, and there is a limit to how many licenses are out at one time.

Those licenses though, let you get away with business at the largest scale. Even though they handed out the licenses, there are still ways of getting into the recreational business. For example, a lot of these i502 (recreational) growers need a lot of help getting business started.

Simply finding one of these companies to invest in would be very smart. Legalization of recreational pot nation wide, WILL happen. These recreational pot companies starting in WA will have a good shot at going nationwide when it does happen.
OK I see. Definitely thanks for the information. I currently live in PA so I'm at a stand still on joining the industry here since it is taking so long to even get medical. I plan on moving to another state a year from now or when I'm able to save up 20-30k. I'm stuck picking between boulder co, and the Phoenix area. I would like to pick phoenix just because Arizona is voting to become recreational in 2016. And I would like to set up shop in a state that is just now doing so instead of one already going. I often think that Colorado is getting too saturated but I've never been one to shy away from a challenge. If anything it would intrigue me more.
 

joncrx

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If you want to see the ultimate fast lane approach to this business, check out weedmaps.com

They get to sell advertising space, little to no liability, and they control the eyeballs of the consumers.
 

Texan

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This particular industry isn't HIGH on my list personally, but I know there is real potential there.
 

Samy Bazizi

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From my personal experience with growing weed, it is an extremely profitable business. With only 500 bucks in hydro equipement you can make a few grands every month. If you have a permit to grow industrially, i would imagine the return on investment would be huge.
 

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Stephen Preston

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Hi all, new to the forum. I am a real estate investor who is looking at the Cannabis industry from a distance. I am currently doing DD on a 32,000 SFQT indoor grow operation in Washington. I gotta say, the competition level for growing seems fierce and is driving down prices from what I can see. Theres tons of opportunity in this industry but I'm not convinced its in growing.
 

amp0193

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There's an entertaining documentary on Netflix called "High Profits".

It follows a Breckenridge pot store the year before and after legalization in Colorado.


In the first month of legalization they were taking in six-figures daily... and they couldn't find any banks to take their cash. Very interesting problem to have.
 

ArcherCarmic

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The entire landscape is going to change up here in Canada when legislation to legalize comes through. I've been passively brainstorming what types of inroads might exist early on for those without the funds and connections to be big players in production. It's all but confirmed that it will be heavily controlled and distributed, so I'm wondering what tools/services might fit nicely in the equation.
 

JAJT

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It's all but confirmed that it will be heavily controlled and distributed, so I'm wondering what tools/services might fit nicely in the equation.
Personally, I think a classy, upscale-looking brand geared towards the hard working 9-5 average Joe would do well.

The current pot culture revolves largely around the immature teenager and early adult. Tie dye, pot leafs, Marley, exotic glass blown pipes and wild looking bongs, etc...

When weed gets legal there will be the "hahaha, this is crazy" transition period but I honestly feel when the dust settles you'll have millions of "me too!" sellers competing in the "stereotypical pot culture" space and very few sellers creating high quality, simple, "working class" products. Adults looking to unwind after work don't want to feel they are "playing teenager" holding a giant multi colored glass bong or a pipe with a bikini clad lady on it.

Look at Vig's link to openvape - that is what I envision the future of weed to look like. Plain, black, classy, and in a word - "adult".
 

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ArcherCarmic

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Personally, I think a classy, upscale-looking brand geared towards the hard working 9-5 average Joe would do well.

The current pot culture revolves largely around the immature teenager and early adult. Tie dye, pot leafs, Marley, exotic glass blown pipes and wild looking bongs, etc...

When weed gets legal there will be the "hahaha, this is crazy" transition period but I honestly feel when the dust settles you'll have millions of "me too!" sellers competing in the "stereotypical pot culture" space and very few sellers creating high quality, simple, "working class" products. Adults looking to unwind after work don't want to feel they are "playing teenager" holding a giant multi colored glass bong or a pipe with a bikini clad lady on it.

Look at Vig's link to openvape - that is what I envision the future of weed to look like. Plain, black, classy, and in a word - "adult".
Very well said.
I had this discussion with some people this past weekend, about the supposed demographic of the average marijuana consumer. Although the young adult/hippie market is the "loudest" proponent, I firmly believe that once it's legal and the stigma/risk factor is abated that a huge market of 40/50/60/70+ year olds will emerge as the largest group consumers.
 

CaptainAmerica

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I live in Oregon. Specifically, Southern Oregon. Where there are now both side by side 'dispensaries' in town and hidden cartel grows just over the CA border. I know people who are absolutely making bank - and they're very nervous, because the legislation is still unclear, sometimes the insurance companies suddenly release them, and their clientele get in other legal trouble. Frankly, it's a mess. The only one I know who's happy with it is a guy who had a head shop for over 10 years and sold to the cops. Not an appealing industry, IMO.
 

Ravens_Shadow

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Find a method to offer credit card processing to the vendors and take a % of each transaction. No one offers credit card processing for these guys, so create a completely legal system that allows you to do so. Hard? Of course, lots of money to be made? Absolutely.

Need? Check
Entry? Check
Control? Iffy (laws and stuff)
Scale? Check, you can go huge with this.
Time? Once its implemented, you can sit on the beach sipping whatever people on the beach sip.
 

350z

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On an optimistic note:

I would love to see a part of the marijuana industry operate a way similar to that of the truffle industry. Definitely worth a watch:


If you were able to source the finest quality of bud, a plus if you can get it at a wholesale rate, and then make a few rounds to a few distributors (I would assume dispensaries that don't solely rely on their own grow). Of course, after that will be the consumers. Meaning that you will have a select list of clients, rather than 100s of customers.

You can easily net profit $100/lbs (buy from source - $1900/lbs, sell to distributors - $2000/lbs). In theory, if you have 5 recurring clients that need 5 lbs daily, then you are making $2,500 every day ($627,500/yr which is excluding weekends/holidays). Of course, this is the prices pre-tax, adjust for state to state taxes.

However, to be more realistic I would say that it may not be that prime right now. I do suspect in the future, just not in the near future. This is mainly due to the length of time the public will take to adjust to the idea. Right now we only have a few states that support recreational usage. Until we get a majority of public opinion positive, then it won't be as profitable.

Although, I hear the black market is still thriving. But I don't think that type of talk is allowed here.
 

amp0193

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On an optimistic note:

I would love to see a part of the marijuana industry operate a way similar to that of the truffle industry. Definitely worth a watch:


That video was entertaining as hell. Love the hustle of that kid and his personality. I could watch a full length documentary or TV series following his business. Solving a need and taking huge action.
 

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If you wanna grow, your at the mercy of your grower. Most of the experts have lived in the shadows for many many years perfecting there techniques. To be successful you would have to hire one to run the grow at 6+ figures a year. His talent would be very hard to replace quickly and therefore, anything he says goes, including his pay.
 

IGP

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Find a method to offer credit card processing to the vendors and take a % of each transaction. No one offers credit card processing for these guys, so create a completely legal system that allows you to do so. Hard? Of course, lots of money to be made? Absolutely.

Need? Check
Entry? Check
Control? Iffy (laws and stuff)
Scale? Check, you can go huge with this.
Time? Once its implemented, you can sit on the beach sipping whatever people on the beach sip.
It's not hard... It's impossible. Banks can't touch it as long as it is a Schedule 1 classified drug.

This is the same reason that legal medical marijuana businesses are all cash based operations.
 

JAJT

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If you wanna grow, your at the mercy of your grower. Most of the experts have lived in the shadows for many many years perfecting there techniques. To be successful you would have to hire one to run the grow at 6+ figures a year. His talent would be very hard to replace quickly and therefore, anything he says goes, including his pay.
I've never grown cannabis before but unless I'm missing something special that happens in the process I'm fairly certain a college horticulturalist graduate would gladly love the same opportunity for much less. And frankly as a business person I'd likely be much happier hiring an "on the level" employee vs one who was comfortable breaking the law en mass for years.
 

Shades

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Very interesting business. But I wouldnt want to be involved at all in the chain of the marijuana itself. Growing wise you need someone who is a expert that has been doing it for years. You can't just jump in and do it. But mainly I wouldnt want to deal with the unbelievable headache of the bureaucracy of the industry. There is plenty of other ways to serve the industry without dealing with the plant at all.
 

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