Cannabis Entrepreneurs Offer Advice On Where To Jump In
Article Originally Published by Forbes
“It’s a boom town,” says entrepreneur Richard Huang, describing the legal cannabis industry, “but it’s not a gold rush, where just any fool can strike it big.” As co-founder of the vaporizer company Cloudious9, Huang has picked out his niche, putting time and effort behind the vaping trend. He is one of the plethora of professional financiers, scientists, retailers, inventors and entrepreneurs jumping into legal cannabis, which last year surpassed sales of $6B .
The success stories are alluring. Two retired ladies created food-safe cannabis containers and sold millions right away. A couple of guys at the glass show ordered some cool pipes to sell online and ended up creating Dankstop, the largest online head shop.
Cannabis entrepreneurs continue to find a variety of new opportunities in the evolving industry, and one of the fastest-growing is marijuana-infused edibles.
Bethany Gomez, Director of Research for the cannabis-focused market research firm, Brightfield Group, estimates that edibles sales will reach nearly $1.6 billion in 2017 and as markets mature, they will increase as a percentage of the total market, “reaching more than 25% of total sales in several states.” Offerings in the sector have moved far beyond the stereotypical “pot brownie” to infused beverages, candies, tinctures, and cooking ingredients.
Customer consumption patterns have not yet stabilized according to Gomez and “the brand landscape remains highly fragmented,” in edibles she said, leaving significant room for newcomers to succeed. “Infused products offer some of the greatest opportunities for entrepreneurship in the cannabis market,” she said, despite the growing number of products in this space.
An important public health benefit of legal cannabis is that it is tested for potency, pesticides and other chemical aspects. Accurate product testing offers an enormous opportunity for small businesses because dispensaries and patients want safe consistent products says Will Waldrop, CEO of Signal Bay, Inc., a medical cannabis consulting service. “As demand for cannabis grows, so will product manufacturers’ need for accredited lab testing services,” he said.
For those who prefer a marijuana-adjacent business (which avoids the rules and regulations that come with “touching the plant,”) Lauren Seigel, Marketing Manager of BloomBoss, a designer of high-efficiency LED grow room lighting and accessories advises cannabis entrepreneurs to target home cannabis growers. Building a home grow “requires an initial investment of anywhere from $800-2500 in equipment,” she said, and each new legislative session and state legalization brings in new customers. “The opportunity adds up fast,” she said.
About Michael King
Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.