In the United States, cannabis is legal in some form in all but just 15 states. In 1973, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize possession of weed. And in 1996, California became the first to legalize it in any form with the approval of Proposition 215.
Since then, there has been great innovation in the field of cannabis. New forms of smoking weed like concentrates have emerged, as well as new tools like the portable vaporizer pen. As cannabis culture has grown so too has its economic impact. Weed is no longer just a taboo hobby, it is undeniably a fruitful business.
In 2018, Colorado surpassed $1 billion dollars in legal cannabis revenue. Many believe this figure could increase as weed continues to become more normalized each and every year. With legal cannabis still establishing its market landscape, entrepreneurs are looking to make their mark and come up with the next great business idea.
1. Start a cannabis farm
The first and most important business to cannabis culture is growing it! Demand is consistently high and dispensaries have to get their product from somewhere so why not you?
Fair warning; growing cannabis is more difficult than growing any ordinary plant, especially if you plan to keep up with modern quality standards. You will need to understand the conditions necessary for weed plants to thrive and how to care for your plants as they grow. Producing cannabis does require a license, so you will need to know the application process in your state.
2. Cannabis processor
Much cannabis production is done by large companies, but there are plenty of consumers who prefer a product that has been personally processed in a distinct and controlled environment.
Cannabis processing is a good choice for anyone who may not be interested in growing or cultivating the plants but knows how to dry, preserve, and package the product for various uses. In most states, you will need to be licensed to handle cannabis, so find out what the requirements are where you live.
3. Delivery business
If you live in a state that has legalized the use of cannabis, you can start a weed transportation and delivery business.
First, you will need to contact local farms or dispensaries and become an expert on the best places to buy particular strains of the plant. You should also get to know people or businesses with whom you could team up with.
Since cannabis is not a bulky product to transport, you may not need to bother yourself with acquiring a van for the business; any vehicle should suffice to start.
4. Open a head shop
Head shops are crucial to smokers everywhere. Head shops are stores that sell weed accessories, devices, and paraphernalia. Bongs, pipes, bubblers, vapes, and even joint papers and blunt wraps are all available at head shops. So needless to say, if you open up a store near a dispensary you will surely find customers.
Of course, there are already many head shops all over the United States, even in states where weed is completely illegal. Therefore, it is important to stand out from the rest with a creative and distinct shop.
5. Product reviewer
Currently, a lot of cannabis-related products are hitting the market and consumers are now getting swamped for choice. So you could potentially build a business around providing reviews and other pertinent information to help consumers make informed decisions on the products they want to use. Because not many people are in this service, you can get easily noticed for brand endorsements.
6. Sell edibles
If you have great culinary skills, you can start baking and selling snacks that are infused with cannabis. Start with just a few items and then grow your business as your popularity grows. You can start with cannabis teas, brownies, pies, cakes, just to name a few.
7. Cannabis-infused body products and cosmetics
Cannabis has a whole lot of properties that are beneficial for human bodies. It especially is known to have some skin healing and repair properties. Therefore, you can start up a company where you produce creams, lotions, soaps, massage oils, etc that were made with cannabis.
The industry has caught on with its line of hemp-infused creams and balms, and even renowned actress Whoopi Goldberg has started her own line of medical cannabis topicals, including bath soaks, body balms, and more.
8. Weed podcast
Podcasts are very popular now a days and a lot of people are having financial successes from it. You could create a podcast aimed out topics about all things cannabis. Starting a podcast is easy and takes very little amount of equipment. Growing your number of listeners on the other hand can be tricky and it takes some savvy marketing as well as patience and persistence.
9. Canna-floral arrangements
Traditional florists and people with an eye for arranging beautiful bouquets have begun adding cannabis to their creations. A cannabis floral display is a perfect gift for someone special and can be a wonderful addition to weddings and other celebrations. If you know how to handle flowers, you should look into this growing trend.
10. Plan cannabis parties
This is indeed not a party where the attendants would be stoned out of their minds, but a party that has a cannabis theme. 420-friendly parties are a growing trend throughout the country, and many people are including cannabis in celebrations like weddings, reunions and birthday parties.
You can get involved in this part of the industry by selling your expertise as a party planner or event coordinator. In the alternative, you can plan these parties and invite like minded people to attend for a fee.
11. Weed concentrates and tinctures
Another huge part of the legal cannabis business revolves around the extraction and selling of cannabis concentrates and tinctures. These are used in various industries from cosmetics to medical, even to the restaurant industry. Equipment for this indusrty can tend to be expensive so you will need plenty of money saved up beforehand.
12. Marketer of cannabis products
If you are a proficient marketer that knows your way around social media as well as other media, you can start marketing cannabis-related products. You have to contact the companies to let them know that you are available to promote their products.
Are you an expert with all things cannabis? You can set up your business and use your knowledge advantage to help small business owners understand their products, clients, and processes. Many people want to get into the industry, but they often do not know much about the business or the plant itself. They will pay you for your knowledge of various strains, processing techniques, or gardening procedures.
There are obviously a ton of legal regulations governing the way cannabis is produced, handled, and sold. There are also regulations on how cannabis is marketed, where it is consumed, and much more. And, if you happen to live in the US, these regulations can change dramatically from one state to another. This is what you would have to help your clients out with.
14. Open a seed bank
Since the use of cannabis has become legalized in many states throughout America, a lot of people are interested in growing there own flower. Therefore, these people will either want to buy a small weed plant to grow larger or even start from seed.
To open a seed bank, you have to first ensure that the business is allowed in your local district. Once you have ascertained this, you need to be on the lookout for where to acquire viable seeds, and also how to market your business.
15. Weed restaurant
There are a myriad of ways one can integrate cannabis into food and get the best out of it. If you know the ways to use cannabis to enhance the taste of a meal, you can open a cannabis-themed restaurant. Many people consider that food with weed means it will get you high but it is possible to incorporate the flavor of cannabis without the psychoactive properties.
16. Develop machinery for concentrate extraction
Instead of producing the concentrates yourself, you can decide to manufacture the machinery that can be used for the extraction. This is one of those businesses in cannabis that does not require touching the leaf. Although the initial investment will be fairly large, the returns could potentially be high because of how popular concentrates are.
17. Cannabis art
The cannabis industry has supported the rise of a bunch of amazing artists that have created everything from glassware to paintings of all kinds. If you are artsy, you can start making cannabis-inspired art. Cannabis has even made its way into high fashion and mainstream fast fashion. Currently, the art world is experiencing a major resurgence of weed-inspired projects across all disciplines. Know where your skills fit in, and take it from there.
18. 420 friendly Airbnb
Travelers love consuming cannabis while on vacation but since many hotels restrict cannabis consumption this can be a challenge for tourists in legal cannabis markets. Luckily, technology can solve this problem as an Airbnb with a 420 friendly environment is perfect for cannabis tourists. You can start one and meet traveling stoners as well as make a decent profit from hosting a 420 friendly Airbnb.
19. Cannabis event planner
From weddings and birthday bashes to educational seminars and product launches, a 420 event planner can help a broad scope of clients with tailored services. You should be ambitious, charismatic, and possess an eye for detail to execute a pot party effectively and to attract the right kind of clients.
20. App development
There are many mobile app possibilities related to the cannabis industry. From those that can locate dispensaries to ones that provide information or even social features to users. You can discover a niche and develop apps that can be of great help in the industry.
21. Catering company
If you have been in the system and you have the tips on how to infuse cannabis into any and everything edible, you can start a cannabis catering company. Take catering to a whole new level by preparing cannabis-inspired menus featuring cannabis-infused beverages, appetizers, and gourmet entrees, such as cannabutter-marinated steak.
22. Host puff and paint classes
A painting class is a social gathering where people meet to paint and discuss or enjoy things that are common to them. You may have already heard of “pour and paint” classes where everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two and learns how to paint. Well, this would be similar except obviously weed instead of wine.
23. Become a licensed cannabis distributor
There are also some states where retail businesses and other businesses that want to sell any cannabis-based products need to go through distributors. So that is another potential business opportunity for those who want to manage the sale of products to businesses in certain states. You can become a licensed distributor.
There is a huge demand for specialty packaging for cannabis products. Growers and manufacturers are in need of packaging solutions that both comply with local laws and elevate the brand. When considering this cannabis business idea, you need to take into account safety, design, product preservation, and costs. Packaging is highly specialized and very niche for this industry.
25. Develop software
Because the cannabis industry is relatively new, the businesses involved still have a long way to go when it comes to finding the exact tools that really suit their needs. Restaurants, retail stores and other types of businesses all have software programs made specifically to help them perform essential business functions. So if you are a software developer, you can potentially do the same for the cannabis industry.
26. Weed tour guide
If you live in a place that has become a destination for cannabis consumers, you can potentially offer a tour guide service where you take people to 420 relevant destinations around your city or state.
27. Subscription box service
This is a great business idea that can help provide consumers with a continually new variety of cannabis products once they hit the market. Offering these boxes is also a great service that can be provided to not only individual subscribers but possibly large scale cannabis events, for festivals, even given as a welcome gift at a 420-themed bed and breakfast.
You can put together your box service to deliver things like cannabis-related snacks, rolling papers, pipes, 420 stickers and magazines, and of course, weed.
28. Fund a new business
Because weed is still federally illegal, a lot of 420 businesses are finding it difficult to receive financial loans for their businesses. If you have some cash to spare and you are seeking a lucrative investment opportunity, you can start giving out loans to cannabis-related businesses, in return for interest in the company. If you do not want to work within the industry but would just like to see a nice return, this could be a possibility for you.
29. Cannabis security
Dispensaries require higher levels of security than other similar companies because of how much cash they can make. This creates a great opportunity to provide cannabis security solutions for 420 friendly businesses. Team up with someone who specializes in technology and you could quickly create a full-service security company. The industry requires modern technology systems to properly enforce the heavy regulations which weed businesses are subject to.
30. 420 blog
With the weed industry emerging with great momentum, people are seeking as much information they can about this plant and its products. If you are knowledgeable in this area, you can start a blog that is dedicated to the cannabis industry. Here, you would have to educate your readers about new legal developments, new products, and services, types of strains, etc.