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What general advice would you give to new dispensary operator just starting up?

You built a small dispensary into a multi-million dollar company with a strong brand. What general advice would you give to new dispensary operator just starting up? 

1 Answer, 1 Reply
Aaron Justis
Aaron Justis  replied:

I would advise you find a balance between business and politics. I believe it is crucial to be involved with policy that effects your business. This is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. You also must focus on your business like any small business operator. You actually have to focus more than most because of the hefty regulatory and compliance cost. The lack of banking and unfair tax laws don't help either! 

A great way to stay on top of policy for a small business owner is to join one or more cannabis trade associations. I suggest doing this at multipe levels. For example I am on the board of GLACA (LA trade association), CCIA (California trade association) & NCIA (National trade association). Through these organizations, even as a regular member, you will have access to all the latest policies that directly effect your business. Beyond that you can always looby with these groups, independently or through a hired lobbyist.

As far as staying on top of your business I would suggest two things that work for me.

1. Listen to business audiobooks while working out, getting ready, gardening or whatever.

2. Join a business CEO advisory group like www.vistage.com (I believe I am their first cannabis member, you could be their second!)

I hope this helped and congratulations on being a dispensary operator!!

Mark Slaugh
Mark Slaugh  replied:

Honestly, I think it depends on the market and how the business owner is applying.

While the resources above and the advice given is solid in a California marketplace where local regulation and policy is in flux, it is different for Colorado, Oregon, Puerto Rico, or Nevada. While business fundamentals are important, at this point in the game, investing in a professional consultant or team that can deliver the value or intellectual property needed to run your business efficiently, effectively, and in compliance is crucial. 

The evolution happens faster than people realize and the level of professional standardization is underway.

Mark Slaugh
iComply, LLC