For decades marijuana has been huge business illegally. You’d be hard pressed to find a city in the United States that didn’t have an underground business infrastructure designed to supply those looking to partake in a little cannabis. However, today with marijuana becoming legal in many states and with public perception around it changing, marijuana has become big business – legally.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of marijuana that gives users the “high” they are searching for. However, it is CBD (Cannabidiol) that is mostly recognized by experts to provide the beneficial health and wellness outcomes that many users seek after. CBD also does not have the hallucinogenic qualities that THC has, making it more appealing as a mainstream product.
While marijuana is still federally illegal, CBD extracted from industrial hemp is legal and is expected to be a billion dollar industry by 2020. We are now at the beginning of a CBD revolution that will grow increasingly competitive over the next few years, with those getting in early seeing most of the rewards.
Here are the five things to consider if you are planning to get into the cannabis business.
Understand the law before you start
Not all CBD products are considered legal by the federal government. Visit the United States Department of Agriculture here to learn more. For CBD to be legal, it must be produced using industrial hemp and the THC level must be below the legal threshold of 0.3 percent. Once again, make sure you do the appropriate research and comply with any licensing requirements in your city and state. It is also wise to consider contacting an attorney who specializes in marijuana and CBD based businesses.
Have an airtight business plan
This goes without saying when starting any business, and it’s no different for CBD. A business plan will give you a roadmap that allows you to grow, anticipate pitfalls, and determine how to reach your target demographic.
Here are some of the points to consider:
What products will you be selling?
CBD can be used in oils, creams, lotions, food products, drinks and many other places. What products will you stock and in what quantity?
What industry will you serve?
What segment of the market will you serve? Your product should be targeted towards a specific market. Some of the markets include beauty, personal care, health, wellness and pet care.
Marketing and Branding
What is the name of your product and what does the brand represent? Having a clearly defined brand will help you connect with your target audience.
Build and optimize your website.
Having a functional website up and running is essential to maximizing revenue opportunities. Make sure your website is attractive, easy to navigate and user friendly to encourage customers to purchase products safely and securely.
Choose a website building platform
Your website platform is just as important as the content you choose to share. Different platforms have different functionalities and yours should be dependent on the needs of your business. Note that selling CBD on certain platforms remains murky. Do your research to ensure that your chosen platform will suit your business and allow an online store for your hemp-derived CBD products, such as WordPress.
Generate original content
If you post compelling and useful articles on your website, customers will flock to it as a trusted resource. Good content helps build authority and generate traffic. Your target audience is looking for expertise and connection—not just products. Update your content frequently to keep them coming back. Pair good information with a strong SEO strategy to increase your visibility on Google and attract more customers. Be sure to generate original work, whether from you or paid copywriters, rather than copying others. Also, tap your audience for content. Customer success stories validate your product efficacy and influence purchase decisions.