Starting a cannabis edibles business can be lucrative, but it’s essential to understand the process before getting started.
Here are ten steps you can take to get started on building your very own edibles business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Edibles Business
1. Choose Your Type of Edibles Business
The first step in launching an edibles business is to identify the type of edibles business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types, among others:
- Bakery that specializes in cannabis-infused desserts.
- Company that makes and sells cannabis-infused beverages.
- Catering service that offers THC-laced meals.
2. Name Your Edibles Business
Give your edibles business an identity so people will consider it a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your edibles business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your name, among other options.
The main goal for naming your edibles business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so people will want to buy your products.
3. Determine Your Edibles Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for an edibles business, including:
- Product-based business that focuses on selling edibles online or in stores
- Subscription service that delivers cannabis-infused meals to customers on a regular basis
- Home delivery service that brings THC-laced treats to people’s doorsteps
Your business model will determine how you generate revenue, so it’s important to choose one that makes sense for your products and target market.
No matter which model you choose, ensure that it aligns with your business goals and the products you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your edibles business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your edibles business will determine the taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common edibles business structures.
5. Write an Edibles Business Plan
All edibles business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team.
When developing your edibles business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What type of edibles do you offer?
- What are the ingredients in your products?
- Are your products safe to eat?
- What dosage do you recommend for different experience levels?
- Are your products made with cannabis oil or hash oil?
- Do you have any vegan/vegetarian options?
- Is it legal to purchase and consume your products?
- Where can I find your products?
- What is the price of your products?
- Do you offer any discounts?
- How do I consume your products?
- What are the effects of consuming your products?
- Will I get high from eating your products?
- How long will it take for the effects to kick in?
If you can answer these questions, you are well on developing a comprehensive business plan for your edibles business. Answering these questions will help you develop a clear and concise business plan too.
Read our article about how to write an edibles business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your edibles business.
For example, if you want to sell your edibles online, then you will need to get a Food Handlers Permit. You will also need a license to cultivate and process cannabis if you plan on making your own edibles.
You must also register your edibles business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper edibles business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your edibles business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have funds to invest in your edibles business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your funds, other forms of potential financing for your edibles business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting an edibles business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your edibles business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your edibles business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in point of sale (POS) software, which can make it easier to sell and track inventory. If you plan on selling online, then you will need a shopping cart and merchant account so customers can purchase your products.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run an edibles business.
9. Market Your Edibles Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the edibles industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Edibles businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Send marketing materials (e.g. brochures, postcards, email blasts) to potential customers.
- Hold cooking demonstrations or food tastings.
- Develop partnerships with local dispensaries or other businesses in the cannabis industry.
- Exhibit at local trade shows or events related to food, health or cannabis.
- Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) for your website so people can easily find your website.
- Advertise your edibles business online and offline (e.g. print ads, radio ads, billboards).
Read our article about how to market your edibles business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your edibles business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your edibles business to learn more.
Starting an Edibles Business FAQs
Why Start an Edibles Business?
There are many reasons to start your own edibles business. The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, and there is a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurs willing to take the risk.
The legal landscape is also changing, with more and more states legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational use. This creates a large potential customer base for your products.
Another reason to start your own edibles business is that you can be creative and innovative with your products. You can develop new recipes and create unique products that people will love.
Finally, starting your own edibles business can be very rewarding financially and personally. You get to be your own boss and set your hours.
What is Needed to Start a Successful Edibles Business?
To start a successful edibles business, you need a few key things. First, you need a great product. This means developing recipes for delicious and healthy cannabis-infused foods.
You also need a good marketing strategy to make people aware of your products and get them to purchase them. And you need to have a good business plan that outlines your goals and how you will achieve them.
Finally, it is essential to have the right people on your team. This includes employees who are passionate about your product and have the skills to help you grow your business.
How Can I Start an Edibles Business From Home?
Yes, you can start an edibles business from home. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you will need to get your home kitchen licensed as a commercial food preparation facility.
You will also need to ensure that your products are safe and of high quality. This includes following food safety guidelines and getting your products tested for potency and contaminants.
Finally, you need a strong marketing strategy to make people aware of your products and get them to purchase them. 85% of customers say they’re likely to visit a dispensary within ten minutes of their location.
How Can I Market an Edibles Business Online?
There are many ways to market your edibles business online. You can start by creating a website and optimizing it for search engines. You can also create social media accounts and post regular updates about your products.
You can also advertise your edibles business on cannabis-related websites and directories. And you can invest in online advertising, such as Google AdWords.
There are many ways to market your edibles business offline too. You can start by distributing flyers and brochures in local dispensaries and other businesses. You can also advertise your products in local publications.
You can also participate in trade shows and cannabis-related events. This is a great way to meet potential customers and get them interested in your products.
What are Some Tips for Starting an Edibles Business?
Here are a few tips for starting an edibles business:
- Research the market. Make sure you understand the legal landscape and what it takes to start and grow a successful business.
- Find a niche. Develop recipes for products that are unique and appealing to customers.
- Build a great team. Hire employees who are passionate about your product and who have the skills to help you grow your business.
- Have a strong marketing strategy. Invest in online and offline marketing efforts to reach potential customers.
- Create a food safety plan. Follow food safety guidelines and get your products tested for potency and contaminants.
- Have a solid business plan. Outline your goals and how you will achieve them.
- Get organized and stay on track. Keep track of your progress and make sure you are meeting your milestones.
- Be patient. Starting a business takes time, so be prepared for the long haul.
- Persevere. Don’t give up, even when things get tough.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting an Edibles Business?
A simple checklist to use when starting an edibles business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Edibles: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to always keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind.
- Name Your Edibles Business: This should be done carefully, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Edibles Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write an Edibles Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Edibles Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Starting an edibles business can be a great way to enter the cannabis industry. By following the steps listed above, you can increase your chances of success. Research the market, develop a strong marketing strategy, and build a great team to help you grow your business. With perseverance and dedication, you can turn your edibles business into a thriving enterprise.