What can Canna do for you
Applying for a cannabis license can be an incredibly daunting challenge. Currently, 23 states (as well as the District of Columbia) have legal medical and/or adult use cannabis markets with another 15 states having passed CBD-only laws. In most states the number of licenses is extremely limited and the process is highly competitive. Each state has its own application process – complete with its own paperwork, its own fees, its own requirements, and its own process for awarding licenses. The application packets themselves can be close to 100 pages and, depending on the state, prospective licensees may be required to write and compile thousands of pages of documents as part of the application submission process. Aside from the state regulations, every municipality has unique zoning regulations and permit processes that further complicate matters. If that’s not enough to make your head spin – the requirements can often change multiple times during the process of completing the application. Unless you’ve done a few of these it’s difficult to comprehend the amount of effort required to submit an application worthy of consideration for one of these coveted licenses.
There are 4 key elements to any successful cannabis license application:
- Site Selection: Identifying viable real estate is one of the most important, and often most difficult, parts of the licensing process. Depending on state and local zoning regulations, those seeking real estate for use in the cannabis industry are usually fishing in a very small pool to begin with. Exacerbating this inventory shortage is that fact that many landowners refuse to work with cannabis businesses, and the ones that do often charge exorbitant rents. At Canna Group, we combine extensive real estate experience with an in-depth understanding of state and local regulations to identify locations that fit our clients’ target criteria and negotiate favorable terms on their behalf.
- Floor Plan: We have extensive experience with facility construction design and oversight. We will coordinate with your existing architects and engineers, or help you assemble a team, to create a design and construction plan that goes well beyond simply satisfying state regulations.
- Team Development: Having a diverse and qualified team is a vital component in obtaining a cannabis license. Cannabis-specific experience is essential, but having experts from other fields to demonstrate that your group is well rounded is also indispensable. We help clients assemble a team of industry experts, consulting physicians, scientists, architects, contractors, horticulturists, investors, key employees and strategic partners to maximize the chances of winning licensure.
- Operational Plan: The Operations plan is perhaps the most important portion of your application as it demonstrates your readiness to operate a compliant cannabis business. In constructing your application, we will collaborate with you to develop a variety of plans covering cultivation, retail dispensing, inventory control & tracking, production, security, safety & emergency, staffing, waste management and record keeping. We’ll help you establish standard operating procedures (SOP’s) to help you meet and maintain regulatory compliance.
Canna Group will help you navigate the various state and local regulatory bodies. We will ensure that you submit a strong application, and that you submit it on time. In short, we believe that our methodical and comprehensive approach gives aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs the best chance to be successful in their pursuit of state cannabis business licenses.
The opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the fastest growing industry in the U.S. has generated a flood of would-be cannabis entrepreneurs entering the space. While many of these individuals possess solid real-world business acumen picked up from other industries, virtually none have experience in the cannabis space. Many things that are basic daily tasks for normal businesses become far more complicated in the pot world. Similarly, as longtime workers in the underground cannabis black market make the move to a legal and highly-regulated cannabis industry, they are frequently met with a host of difficulties that they have never had to face before. Given the challenges, it makes sense to avoid the headache of having to figure out every potential problem you will face by partnering with a company that has deep experience across both cannabis and non-cannabis related ventures. At Canna Group, we offer a suite of marijuana business consulting services designed to help our clients build a thriving cannabis enterprise.
Business Plan Creation & Development: The primary purpose of a business plan is to define what the business is or what it intends to be over time. Beyond it being a requirement for any company looking to raise capital, a business plan serves as a blueprint that allows owners to focus their energy on key activities that move the business forward. Among other things, a business plan should provide:
- a well-defined description of the products and services you intend to offer
- a clear-eyed analysis of your industry and an honest assessment of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT Analysis)
- a breakdown of your potential customers and their buying behaviors
- details of your major competitors and your strategies for competing against them
- an analysis of your revenues, costs, and projected profits
- a roadmap and timetable for achieving your goals and objectives
- a description of your marketing strategies
Our founders have more than fifty years of combined experience owning and managing businesses, both public and private, across a wide variety of industries. Our experience allows us to provide valuable insight during the business planning process and help you develop an organizational structure to give your business the best opportunity to succeed.
Financial Modeling, Forecasting & Accounting: The Cannabis industry has a very unusual set of accounting principles applied to annual deductions. In other industries, companies are allowed to deduct legitimate business expenses from gross revenues when determining the business’ taxable income. However, a formerly obscure section of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, Section 280E, forbids businesses from deducting otherwise ordinary business expenses from gross income associated with the “trafficking” of Schedule I or II substances. To avoid confusion that can often lead to painful IRS audits, it is imperative that you are working with competent accountants that understand the nuances of the cannabis space.
Our CFO & Chairman, Grant Rollin, spent nearly 2 decades as a Partner with Big-4 accounting firm Deloitte before leaving to serve as CEO and CFO of several large companies. His deep finance and accounting expertise, coupled with the decades of cannabis experience of our founders, enables Canna Group to develop in-depth, credible, cannabis-specific financial models and forecasts for our clients.
Employee Staffing & Training: Your employees are an extension of your brand. Finding premium talent is tough, particularly if you are just entering the industry. The Canna Group team has substantial cultivation and retail experience and a robust network of industry connections built over decades in the cannabis industry. We can help you find all types of cannabis professionals for your organization, from entry level budtender to master grower.
Once you’ve hired the right people, now you must train them. We provide comprehensive instruction, complete with training manuals and supplemental materials. If required, we will also embed our staff with yours for intensive hands-on guidance. All of our training methods will be based on the compliance requirements for your state and will reflect industry-standard best practices.
Equipment and Vendor Selection: Canna Group has long-standing relationships with most of the biggest manufacturers of horticultural and processing equipment. In addition to helping our clients select the best machinery for their business objectives, we are frequently able to obtain pricing for our clients that is substantially less than they would be able to secure themselves. We can also serve as an invaluable asset for dispensary owners by providing product recommendations and introductions to a host of vendors such as growers, edible and infused products companies, seed-to-sale tracking systems, alarm & surveillance systems. If you want to eliminate the guesswork, let Canna Group help you build a strategic network of vendors to help drive your long-term success.
Policies, Procedures, and Best Practices: When operating in a highly regulated industry such as cannabis, it is crucial that you establish a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and best practices to keep your business running efficiently and compliantly. We will utilize industry-best practices to help you determine the policies and procedures your business needs to be successful and codify them in your Standard Operating Procedures manual. This manual will serve as an effective management tool and a vital, strategic link between the organization’s vision and its day to day operations.
Marketing & Sales: In the cannabis space, differentiating yourself from the competition is crucial. Having great cannabis is only one part of the equation. Canna Group can help your business develop customer and market insights to identify new strategies for growth and help you stand out from the crowd. We’ll help you implement sales strategies to generate increased in-store traffic and maximize your average order size per customer. Our marketing and sales consulting cover areas including brand strategy, sales optimization, pricing strategies, customer relationship management, inventory optimization and marketing strategy.
Cultivation facility design and management, in particular, is one area where Canna Group truly excels. We have expertise in all stages of plant production and supply chain process including breeding, cloning, vegetation, flowering, harvesting & drying, trimming, curing, packing and distribution. Canna Group uses proprietary software that automates the format, design and rendering of fully scalable cultivation models for indoor grow facility implementation based on factors such as cost of goods, construction, estimation/take off, itemization of hardware, procurement of necessary software, ordering of consumables, nutritional implementation, pest/pathogen prevention/mitigation procedures, bio-security, facility security, and loss prevention. The collection of this industry specific knowledge and data attributes to impeccable grow facility design, management and operations. The implementation of our high efficiency methods provides yields for our clients that are consistently well above the industry standard.
Our co-founder, Aaron Silverman, has tremendous experience designing and managing retail dispensaries, having owned several of them and consulted on many others throughout the state of California. We understand, and have experience overcoming, the enormous operational challenges that exist in a constantly changing regulatory environment. If necessary, we can help you identify a location based on a suitability assessment that factors in cost, square footage, neighborhood demographics and population trends, vehicular and pedestrian traffic patterns, proximity of competition, adequacy of parking, and city by-laws and zoning requirements. Once a site is selected, we will work with your architects and contractors, in coordination with local building and city officials, to develop and implement building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, security, hazmat and fire suppression plans that will meet and exceed regulations.
When the site is ready, we will work with you to create operational plans covering all facets of your business including:
- Seed-to-Sale Inventory Tracking
- Employee Staffing, Training & Management
- Equipment & Vendor Selection
- Proper Waste Disposal Procedures
- Required Record Keeping and Documentation
- Transportation Procedures
- Packaging and Labeling Requirements
- Security Requirements
Canna Group offers solutions for all life stages of your business. Whether you are looking to maximize pounds per light in your grow facility or sales per square foot in a dispensary, Canna Group has the tools and the expertise to help you take your cannabis operation to the next level!
Canna Group provides our clients with access to leading media and technology experts that have the power to transform businesses. We offer expertise in all aspects of marketing including branding, PR, creative development, SEO, social media, display and mobile advertising, content distribution and web development. Whether you are looking for help in a particular field or a fully integrated approach to your business strategy, we deliver solutions to support businesses at any stage.
Branding is perhaps the most essential element of any business. It goes well beyond simply naming your company and creating a logo. A brand represents the totality of people’s perceptions of your business. It’s the entire customer experience – your logo, website, advertising, customer service, and your reputation. A good brand doesn’t just happen by chance. It is a well thought out and strategic plan that serves to improve recognition, create trust, support advertising, generate new business, build financial value and, when done correctly, build an emotional connection with your customers. By conducting detailed market research, and acquiring a deep understanding of your goals and values, we’ll work with you to create a unique position in the marketplace for your business.
Website Design & Development
Like this website? Then let us build one for your business. Our consultants have decades of experience facilitating the creative needs for the world’s biggest global brands and small to mid-size businesses alike. We are experts in art direction, illustration, web/graphic design, user interface (UI) design and e-commerce – combining mobile ready responsive design and UX best practices to deliver websites that are visually impactful and provide a seamless cross-device digital experience. Our ability to grasp a creative brief with confidence and visually interpret a client’s needs enable us to provide solutions that work.
An estimated 14 million Americans consume cannabis on a regular basis. We can help you find these users wherever they go on the web and on whatever devices they use. We offer ads in a variety of formats including banners, rich media, video ads, mobile ads, sponsored posts and text links. We are focused on serving the right ad to the right user at the right time. Ads can be precisely targeted at specific audiences based on context, demographics, location, time of day, or a variety of other factors including anonymized user purchase intent data. We use leading brand safety software to prevent our clients’ ads from running across misaligned content and, budget permitting, offer brand studies to provide our clients with critical insights into campaign effectiveness and brand perception.
Social media is one of the most important pillars of any marketing plan and sits at the forefront of digital marketing strategies in the Cannabis industry. Having a strong social presence allows businesses to increase brand recognition, strengthen brand loyalty, drive sales, improve the customer experience and gain valuable insights about your target audience. It also provides critical support for other advertising initiatives and helps increase your search engine rankings. We’ll work with you to define your social strategy and identify the right social channels and tactics required to meet your business objectives. We’ll set up your selected social media platforms, establish follower engagement and community management procedures, and build and manage your paid social campaigns. We use listening tools to monitor and analyze feedback about your brand in real-time and create original, tailored social content based on that feedback.
Many view Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as the holy grail of online advertising. When done right, it has the potential to deliver a high volume of users with a verified interest in your product or service right to your digital doorstep at no cost. SEO isn’t a stand-alone service. It’s the result of a dynamic, multi-faceted approach involving literally hundreds of different variables including quantity and quality of inbound links, keyword usage and density, content relevance and originality, visitor engagement metrics, brand/domain mentions in press and news media, domain name and age, site structure and social metrics such as tweeted links, Facebook shares and Google +1’s. So really it’s everything – branding, copywriting, PR, social– all rolled into one. For that reason, SEO best practices must be built-in from the early planning stages and they must continue on an ongoing basis. Similarly to SEO, Paid Search allows businesses to target highly qualified consumers at the very moment that they are searching for relevant products or services. Unlike SEO, Paid Search costs money – usually in the form of a PPC (pay per click) model. When paying to drive traffic to your site, it is imperative that the user experience is optimized for whatever action you are trying to get the customer to take whether that be filling out a lead form, making a purchase, finding a store location, etc. Currently, the major search engines do not offer paid search opportunities for most cannabis businesses but that is likely to change as cannabis laws become less restrictive over time.
Public Relations are a vital component of a successful business enterprise. This is true in any industry, but particularly so in the cannabis space. Our PR consultants are some of the brightest minds in the cannabis space. We will work with top executives in your organization to determine your public image strategy. This reflects not only how you want to be perceived by your consumers, but also how you will be viewed by your employees, community and local government officials. We can assist you with team building, employee empowerment initiatives, organizing community outreach events and communicating with legislatures and government agencies. We excel at getting our clients positive exposure across all mediums – traditional (print, radio and broadcast), digital and social, and are experts at crisis management.
Let Canna Group can help you extend your brand beyond the website. Whether you require advertising materials such as print ads or web banners, marketing collateral such as product brochures, business cards or instructional videos, product packaging, or a display for your tradeshow booth, our talented designers, photographers and videographers will help you conceptualize and produce creative assets for all of your advertising and marketing needs.