5 Tips for Being First to Market in Newly Regulated States

5 Tips for Being First to Market in Newly Regulated States

The benefits of being first to launch in a newly regulated cannabis state are numerous.

August 21, 2018

This article originally appeared in the August 2018 print issue of Cannabis Business Times. To subscribe, click here.

The benefits of being first to launch in a newly regulated cannabis state are numerous. New licensees attract investment, talent and media exposure. They usually enjoy strong price points and have the chance to set regional benchmarks for excellence by being the first licensed business that consumers experience. On the flip side, a late arrival can be challenging for your brand as you try to differentiate your company from the rest of the pack. And besides, no one likes coming in last.

Here are five tips to help ensure your group is among the first to market in your state:

1. Avoid Over-Complication. In today’s cannabis industry, supplier and service provider options are seemingly endless. That’s evident when walking across any cannabis trade show. There are so many novel products, technologies and best practices that it can quickly become overwhelming. Start with a tried-and-true cultivation method and use proven equipment that has been around for years. Don’t be afraid to be boring! The goal is to arrive first to market, not demonstrate that you can buy all the latest and most expensive grow technology. Patching together pieces of all the newest (and untested) technology is a sure way to over-complicate the process.

2. Hire Key People First. Hiring an experienced master grower and general contractor will ensure a smooth, expedited launch with minimal mistakes. Your general contractor should obtain all necessary permits, schedule inspections and review building codes. The master grower will handle all production planning, hiring and purchasing. Having dedicated people handle these important but time-consuming tasks will allow you to focus on the numerous other issues that are sure to arise during the first six months of your start-up.

3. Build Simple. In most instances, it isn’t necessary to complete construction prior to beginning cultivation. Depending on your state’s specific laws, it’s usually acceptable to start cultivation on a small scale in parallel to construction of the main facility. Clones and seedlings require little space during the first six weeks of their life as they move from propagation trays to small pots, so taking advantage of this time will guarantee a jump on your competition. If you’re growing indoors, consider starting inside of a retrofitted shipping container. If growing outdoors, consider building a secure mini-greenhouse.

To read the full article in Cannabis Business Times' August 2018 issue, click here.

Top Image: Brian Jackson | Adobe Stock