Thursday, September 17, 2015

How do I start a Marijuana Business?

These days it seems like everyone is trying to find out how to start a marijuana business. Some call it a ‘Green Rush’ others just smart business. After all of these years working around the industry, I have developed some tips:

1. Walk away from the $9,000 lawyers and talk to an assortment of experts. One of the best is the 420college. They have classes in a bunch of states and assemble some of the best people that I have met in the industry. It is also at the most reasonable prices with the ability to come back.
2. Select a specialized accountant. The 280E is no joke. Find someone that will work with you and not just take information from you. Al Capone was snagged for taxes don’t be that person.
3. Select an insurance expert. Find someone that is current in the industry. You shop for experts, let your experts shop for products. They can even start advising you on underwriting pitfalls such as protecting your marijuana in a particular size of safe so that it can be insured.
4. Select a legal expert. Find someone that understands the laws. For example in Oregon there are some areas that will not allow a marijuana business.
5. Join an association and find out what associations your experts are in. Not only do some associations you get benefits, you also can meet other professionals and educate yourself. In Washington, I recommend checking out Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics as they are a good mix of benefits, lobbying and networking.
6. Build a business plan and understand product flow, people flow and cash flow. Do not bank on product selling itself and that bad things won’t happen to you. I have seen dispensaries shut down for Robberies and wind wiping out crops.

This is a business like any other with thousands of people wanting to make money. Many of which will not set themselves apart by doing the hard work and learning everything that they can. It is not for everybody. Good luck, I look forward to seeing you out there.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lloyds and Marijuana Insurance

I get questions about Lloyds and Insuring the Cannabis Industry on a regular basis. It can be from a new client in Colorado to an old one in Washington asking about renewals. (The two questions that I have had this week).

There are actually quite a few articles on the subject talking about how horrible this event is however I have found the experience refreshingly old school. I tend to refer people to industry Articles about Lloyds leaving the business.

Today was the first time that I got a hard copy letter from the carrier stating the end of Lloyd’s and Marijuana Insurance. Check it out:

It had little effect for my clients because the previous February, I switched over to Hannover as a primary carrier. I work with multiple companies. It is an ongoing process to see what company can do for different categories of clients. I have literally told client’s if they find a company that is better than the one I am using then let me know as I am more than happy to add on to my offering.

Insurance has always been about the customer. Picking good insurance involves picking a good broker.